Greater Shepparton police are going on a blitz this festive season to remove drink and drug affected drivers from the region's roads.DARREN LINTON November 17, 2012 4:22am
With the road toll in Greater Shepparton already approaching a record high, police are committed to making a difference during a 52-day operation aimed at keeping people safe and alive through the festive season.
State-wide there will be four festive season operations which began yesterday. Operation RAID is aimed at detecting and removing all alcohol and drug impaired drivers from our roads.
Shepparton Highway Patrol’s Senior Sergeant Des Wright warned that mobile patrols in the region were participating in a trial of roadside drug testing.
‘‘Drink driving is a perennial problem and we will continue to focus on it, but more recently we have been able to identify a significant problem with illicit drug use,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve had a strike rate of one in 10.’’
Because of the higher cost of mobile drug-testing kits, police identify and target who is tested rather than randomly test every driver as they do with alcohol.
‘‘We have to be careful to target the right people and consequently we have a high strike rate,’’ he said.
Sen Sgt Wright said distractions and not observing basic road rules like wearing seat belts, giving way or speeding were a problem on the region’s roads.
So far this year 11 people have died on roads in the Greater Shepparton police district, as many as in any other year since Sen Sgt Wright started collating statistics.
‘‘It is probably the worst year on record since then for fatalities in Greater Shepparton and we still have the rest of November and all of December to go,’’ he said.
Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said an onslaught of road policing operations started in Victoria yesterday and police would saturate the state’s roads, targeting drink and drug driving, driver fatigue, distraction and speeding.
He urged drivers to leave their cars at home if they knew they were going to be drinking.
‘‘We know if we can deter people from taking the risks in the first place or alternatively get them off the road before the high traffic periods, we will reduce road trauma, which is what the operation is all about — saving lives,’’ he said.
Mr Hill said the festive season was all about spending time with friends and loved ones, not losing them on the roads.
‘‘This time of year is about going on holidays and to Christmas and work break-up parties, not funerals and hospital wards,’’ he said.
The SAM Foundation has received a further philanthropic contribution of $1 million towards the new Shepparton Art Museum.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Two people have been arrested and thousands of dollars in drugs and property found in a major raid in Corop early Monday.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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