THE statistics for major crashes on our roads are staggering — yet motorists continue to do the wrong thing.
Speeding, disobeying road signs and even driving under the influence of highly addictive drug treatments are only a few of the deplorable acts motorists continue to do while driving.
But what's worse is the flagrant disregard these motorists have for our road rules, which was displayed by every person caught breaking the law when I went on a ride-along with the Blacktown Highway Patrol Cluster recently.
Despite the hefty fines and loss of demerit points issued to these drivers, these drivers either didn't care about receiving a traffic infringement notice or they pleaded ignorant to doing the wrong thing.
Blacktown Highway Patrol Cluster's Senior Sergeant Adrian Gretch, who has been with the police for 22 years and in his new role for just over a year, said he was all too used to seeing motorists break the road rules.
"Even if you're in a marked car, you still get a lot of people doing the wrong thing," he said.
The afternoon kicked off with two NSW highway patrol cars from the North West Metropolitan Region conducting stationary speed enforcement duties in a 100km/h zone on the M4 in Eastern Creek.
About 2.15pm, Senior Constable Scott Jenkins detected with his light detection and ranging gun a young motorist travelling 26km/h over the speed limit.
It took him about four kilometres to catch up to the driver, who gave him an inexusable reason as to why he was speeding.
"The driver told me he was following the car in front of him and didn't realise he was speeding," he said. But after he had issued the young man with a $425 fine and four demerit points for exceeding the speed limit by 20km/h, the situation got worse.
"I gave him the fine and his response was: 'Whatever'," Senior Constable Jenkins said.
"What this driver doesn't realise is that if he crashes at 120km/h, the impact alone will kill him."
A short time later, another driver was caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 10km/h on the same strip and gave a similar excuse to Senior Constable Jenkins.
"There's no reason for why I was speeding," the driver told him.
"I wasn't looking at the speed."
The man was issued with a $248 fine and three demerit points.
The officers then moved to the M7 and stationed themselves on the Glen Denning Cross Road on-ramp.
While at the site, one of the officers received a call over the radio at 3.44pm to go to a car park in Old Mt Druitt for a suspended licence matter.
"The person has either lost his licence as a result of an offence or he was caught with a suspended licence," Senior Sergeant Gretch said.
General duties officers were the first to arrive at the scene and caught the man sitting in his car injecting himself with methadone.
Senior Sergeant Gretch said the man's licence had been suspended for outstanding fines, which was why a highway patrol car was called — to issue the man with a licence suspension notice.
The man then signed the form after being told he could no longer drive.
The afternoon ended with Senior Sergeant Gretch catching a male driver, in his 40s, carrying out an illegal right turn from The Great Western Highway onto Beaconsfield Road, Minchinbury.
When Senior Sergeant Gretch typed in the man's number plate on the mobile data terminal and looked at his traffic record, he found that the man had a history of committing traffic offences.
But again, there was another excuse.
The driver said he was in a hurry to get to the shop before it closed and decided to make an illegal right turn as it was the "only option" he had to get there on time.
Unfortunately, poor decisions lead to other outcomes.
"That's why I think it's positive to give a fine, because that $248 fine will save someone's life," Senior Sergeant Gretch said