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Mike Stevens | Dec 30, 2011

New South Wales Police have confirmed 11 road fatalities in the first six days of Operation Safe Arrival, compared to 10 deaths for the entire 15 days of last year's campaign.

“Such a significant loss of a life at this time of year is terribly sad. What’s very concerning is the holiday road toll is likely to rise – especially considering the number of motorists who are out there on the roads breaking the laws," Superintendent Stuart Smith said.

Police have issued 11,988 speeding and traffic offences over the past six days - 20 more than last year - but drink-driving charges have fallen to 276, down from 379 for the same period last year.

Overall, the New South Wales 2011 road toll is down by 35 for the year to date, but the state's Centre for Road Safety is urging motorists to take heed of road safety risks.

Of the 42,299 recorded crashes last year, 19,336 of these crashes resulted in 405 fatalities and 24,623 injuries.

Around 11 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities were not wearing an available seat belt, with 74 percent of these fatalities occurring on country roads.

Where alcohol results for a crash were known, drink driving was a factor in more than half of fatal crashes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and in 19 percent of all fatal crashes.

“The estimated cost to the community from all crashes was more than $5.1 billion, but there is no price on a life or the devastating injuries many victims receive from road trauma,” NSW Centre for Road Safety Acting General Manager Margaret Prendergast said.

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