Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ky Police first to use pursuit law

Kyabram Police officers have become the first in Victoria to charge a person under the new evade police legislation.

December 26, 2012 3:18pm

Kyabram Free Press on 15/08/2012 CAPTION: Kyabram police boss Peter Wardell.

Kyabram Police officers have become the first in Victoria to charge a person under the new evade police legislation.

Police were conducting random breath testing in McEwen Rd, Kyabram about 8.40pm on Friday when they stopped a green Ford Festiva sedan.

The vehicle was identified as being unregistered and while an officer was writing up the penalty notice the driver is alleged to have got back in the vehicle and driven off.

Police pursued the vehicle into Allan St and then into Wight St where the driver is alleged to have driven at the police vehicle, nearly colliding with it.

Kyabram’s Christmas Community event was in progress nearby at the time in Memorial Gardens.

Kyabram Police senior sergeant Peter Wardell said officers made the decision to terminate the pursuit at this point.

‘‘The driver posed a danger to the community, to our officers and to himself,’’ Sen Sgt Wardell said.

‘‘We would rather not have been the first in the state to use the new legislation.’’

Police arrested a 20-year-old Ardmona man about 4pm on Saturday in connection with the incident and he has been interviewed and charged.

As well as the new offence of dangerous driving while being pursued by police, the man has also been charged with other offences including: driving an unregistered vehicle, recklessly engaging in conduct likely to cause serious injury, driving in a dangerous manner, driving a motor vehicle when directed to stop by police and being in breach of his licence conditions.

The new legislation was announced in November and officially introduced last Thursday.

Under the new law drivers who prompt police pursuits can be jailed for up to three years, have their licence cancelled for at least 12 months and have their cars impounded for a minimum of 30 days.

The man has been bailed to appear at Echuca Magistrates Court on February 5.

There were many vehicles and pedestrians in the area for the Kyabram Christmas Community event when the incident occurred and Kyabram Police would like any witnesses to call them on 58531777.

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