Highway patrol police officers have taken a no-tolerance approach to a summer roads campaign during the holiday period. And they have vowed to reject any excuses thrown their way — they say there are no excuses and they’ve heard them all before.By Jessica Grimble
Highway patrol police officers have taken a no-tolerance approach to a summer roads campaign during the holiday period.
And they have vowed to reject any excuses thrown their way — they say there are no excuses and they’ve heard them all before.
Sergeant Michael Connors said every available police vehicle was out on the road — and he said people speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs would be caught.
Sgt Connors has co-ordinated the Summerstay campaign for Wangaratta and Cobram Highway Patrol officers.
He said police had issued 229 infringement notices from the start of the campaign in November to Friday. There were 140 notices issued for excessive speed.
‘‘It’s been very good to have no drink-drivers (to date), but disappointing on the other hand to have processed four people for driving under the influence of drugs,’’ Sgt Connors said.
Sgt Connors said in the wake of a ‘‘bad run’’ on Moira Shire roads at the end of November and start of December, where three people died in four days, it was frustrating to continue to nab people driving at extremely high speeds.
He said highway patrol officers caught a Kyabram man, 49, travelling at 148
The man said he was speeding because he was late for work. He will receive a summons to court and his vehicle has been impounded for 30 days.
‘‘What I tell my members is that we don’t want to hear excuses — because there are no excuses,’’ Sgt Connors said.
‘‘If people drive like that, they have no right to be on the road.
‘‘They are not only placing themselves at risk, but other road users too.
‘‘There is very little margin for error when people travel at that speed.’’
Sgt Connors said he was also disappointed the number of people driving under the influence of drugs was increasing. He said police now caught one in 14 drivers under the influence of drugs — previously it was one in 40.
‘‘The warnings have been there — and someone taking drugs and driving really is stupid,’’ he said.
‘‘They tell themselves they won’t get caught.’’
Sgt Connors said there was an increased police presence in Moira Shire towns across New Year’s Eve.
‘‘We want people to enjoy themselves, but not get behind the wheel,’’ he said.
The Summerstay campaign was made up of four operations including Operation RAID from November 16 to December 9, Operation Break Up from December 14 to 22, Operation Crossroads from December 23 to January 3, and Operation Fresh Start from January 4 to 6.
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