Did new laws cause accident?
Did new slowdown laws put police officer at risk?
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.”