Did new laws cause ac­ci­dent?

Did new slow­down laws put po­lice of­fi­cer at risk?

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - FRONT PAGE - MATT DEANS [email protected]­s­coas­tad­vo­cate.com.au

THE State’s top traf­fic cop has vis­ited in­jured high­way pa­trol­man Se­nior Con­sta­ble Mark Whit­taker as he re­cov­ers after be­ing hit by a car dur­ing a traf­fic stop on the Coffs Coast.

Sen-Con­sta­ble Mark Whit­taker was struck by a ve­hi­cle dur­ing a rou­tine stop on the Pa­cific High­way, about 20km south of Nam­bucca Heads, on De­cem­ber 30.

The mo­tor­cy­cle of­fi­cer had just pulled over a black Subaru hatch­back when he was struck by a Mazda sedan.

He suf­fered a bro­ken leg, while the fe­male driver of the Mazda, a Queens­land woman, was treated for shock.

NSW Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol Com­man­der As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Michael Cor­boy met with Sen-Con­sta­ble Whit­taker in Coffs Har­bour on Mon­day.

“He is in very good spir­its he has got a pretty bad break of his leg and those who saw the vi­sion on the TV will re­alise how lucky he was,” Mr Cor­boy said.

“Mark is a keen and ex­cel­lent high­way pa­trol of­fi­cer and my wish is the same as his, to get him back at work and back on the bike as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Ques­tions have been asked whether new laws in NSW that re­quire mo­torists to slow to 40km/h when pass­ing sta­tion­ary emer­gency ser­vice ve­hi­cles were a fac­tor in the crash.

The ac­ci­dent on a 110km/h sec­tion of the high­way is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“As the Roads Min­is­ter has al­ready in­di­cated, (the law change) is one av­enue of in­ves­ti­ga­tion that we are look­ing at,” Mr Cor­boy said.

“The idea of the slow­down law to 40km/h was to make it safer for our of­fi­cers, am­bos and our fireys.

“We will be re­view­ing that law, talk­ing to the var­i­ous unions and talk­ing to the var­i­ous emer­gency ser­vices.”

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