2014 road tolls down but still too high

THE road toll was down in New South Wales but police from both states have condemned a spate of reckless holiday driving.

Queensland Acting Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the year's toll was the lowest on record - 223 people died on the roads last year, down 26 on the previous lowest toll recorded in 2010 and 49 fewer than 2013.

At 309 dead, the 2014 New South Wales road toll was down 30 on 2013.

However, a spate of dangerous driving over the Christmas break has been a major cause for concern.

"While it is an achievement to have significantly reduced the road toll this year, the fact remains that 223 people will not get to spend the new year with friends and family, and their loss will be felt by everyone they knew as we start 2015," Mr Stewart said.

One New Year's Eve driver was caught at 180kmh in a 110kmh zone on the Pacific Mwy at Stapylton.

Another clocked 154kmh on the 100kmh Gateway Mwy at Eagle Farm. A driver blew a blood-alcohol reading of 0.236%, 12 drivers tested positive for drugs and 40 vehicles were impounded.

The NSW toll rose when a Queensland man, 59, and woman, 54, died in a single-vehicle crash at Taree on New Year's Eve.

Police nabbed 812 speeding motorists on December 31 - up from 656 in 2013.

There was a significant drop in drink-driving, with only 24 out of 62,199 drivers tested for alcohol returning positive readings.

A 19-year-old P-plater was caught at 104kmh in a 50kmh zone in Wagga Wagga yesterday, immediately losing his licence and his number plates.

NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said police would be out in force for the remainder of the holiday period.

"There will be over 1200 highway patrol officers and over 500 highway patrol vehicles on our roads today to ensure everyone on our roads remains safe," Mr Hartley said.


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