Cops’ warning after fatal start to holidays

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The worst fears of police and the community appear set to be confirmed over the festive period, with Victoria and New South Wales recording a disturbing number of road deaths at the start of the holidays.

Eight people have died in road accidents in Australia’s two major states since Thursday afternoon, with the latest victim an elderly pedestrian who was struck by a car on Saturday morning in Melbourne’s north.

Victoria Police confirmed on Saturday the victim, believed a woman in her 70s, was struck by a car on Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe, around 8am on Saturday morning and died at the scene, while the driver is said to be assisting police.

With eight road deaths in under 48 hours, NSW and Victoria Police are urging drivers not to throw caution to the wind this festive period.With eight road deaths in under 48 hours, NSW and Victoria Police are urging drivers not to throw caution to the wind this festive period.

Of the eight road deaths two have involved motorcyclists, including a man losing control and crashing in the Victorian country town of Mansfield on Friday night, and young man believed to be a teenager who collided with the rear of a van in the Sydney suburb of Berkshire Park.

NSW Police said the young man collided with the rear of a Renault van on Richmond Rd about 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, causing him to be thrown into oncoming traffic before being struck by a truck.

Another victim included an 95 year-old woman, who was hit by a 4WD on the corner of Lopez Lane and Raymond St in Bankstown about 830pm on Friday night.

One of the victims included a 95-year-old woman, who died after she was struck by a 4WD in Bankstown on Friday night. Picture NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard.One of the victims included a 95-year-old woman, who died after she was struck by a 4WD in Bankstown on Friday night. Picture NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard.

NSW Police said they have since charged a man with dangerous driving occasioning death and negligent driving causing death.

On Saturday, NSW Police said three people had died in the first day of a special police operation that began on Friday.

“That’s three to many,” Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Brett McFadden said.

Police in NSW and Victoria have detected a concerning number of drink drivers on the roads this festive period. Picture: Alan BarberPolice in NSW and Victoria have detected a concerning number of drink drivers on the roads this festive period. Picture: Alan Barber

NSW Police said 25,000 random breath tests since the operation began had led to 45 drink driving charges, while 750 traffic infringements were recorded in total.

Things were no better in Victoria, with the state’s police warning on Friday that after the first week of Operation Roadwise 255 drivers had been nailed for drink driving.

Disturbingly, 209 drug drivers had been detected, or one in every 13 tested, while police had also found 233 disqualified and suspended drivers on the roads.

Read related topics:MelbourneSydney

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