2 January 2018

Police reveal holiday period's worst offenders on ACT roads

| Ian Bushnell
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Photo: ACT Policing.

The blatant disregard for the road rules by some Canberra drivers has left police angry and frustrated that their message is still not getting through.

Police handed out 297 infringement notices over the Christmas-New Year period, mostly for speeding, including one driver who clocked at 172km/h on Drakeford Drive.

ACT Policing said the results were disappointing and called on Canberra drivers to take more responsibility on the roads in 2018.

Operation Safe Christmas/New Year was conducted between Friday 22 December 2017 and Monday 1 January 2018.

Detective Acting Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said, “while most drivers are doing the right thing, it is frustrating that some show a blatant disregard for not only their own safety but the safety of all road users through excessive speed, drink and drug driving”.

“My team issued 297 infringements during the Double Demerit period with the majority of these being related to excessive speed. This type of behaviour is reckless and can have disastrous consequences,” Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

Examples of excessive speeding detected by police during the Double Demerit period include:

• 172km/h in 80km/h zone – Drakeford Drive;
• 149km/h in 100km/h zone – Majura Parkway;
• 155km/h in 60km/h zone – Springvale Drive (residential street);
• 106km/h in 60km/h zone – Aranda;
• 150km/h in 100km/h zone – Majura Parkway (driver also charged with drug driving).

“When you look at some of the speeds detected, 172km/h in 80km/h zone, 92km over the limit, when you’re travelling at that speed if something goes wrong you won’t stop, the outcomes of that speed will be tragic,” Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

He said that while it was pleasing that no one had died on ACT roads over the holiday period, in NSW and Victoria the majority of those fatalities could have been prevented if people had been responsible and slowed down.

The person on the Majura Parkway doing 150km/h was not only 50km/h over the limit but also under the influence of drugs – a recipe for disaster, Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

The Traffic Operations Team conducted 9,000 Random Breath Tests resulting in the apprehension of 20 drink drivers, and 108 Random Drug Tests from which 27 drivers tested positive for prohibited substances.

Six drivers were also apprehended for driving while disqualified.

A female driver, with three children in the vehicle, returned a blood alcohol level of 0.107, which is more than double the legal limit. Another driver was detected with a blood alcohol level of 0.176, over three times the legal limit.

Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said it was concerning that more drivers were found to be under the influence of drugs than alcohol from only 108 tests, compared to the 9,000 random breath tests.

His message was for drivers to wake up and take responsibility. “When someone dies you can’t turn back the clock, people can say they’re sorry but at the end of the day they made that conscious decision to put the foot down, they made that decision to pour the alcohol down the throat, or take the drugs. It’s on them so I say to them wake up,” Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

“We don’t want to see the carnage anymore.”

While the double demerit points period may be over, Acting Station Sergeant Boorman urged drivers to slow down, take their time and not drink or take drugs and drive.

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house_husband8:18 am 06 Jan 18

So when are ACT Police going to have a concerted effort to target generally incompetent and poor spatially aware drivers? The type who try to merge at 20kmh below the speed limit or drive a car full of dings from their inability to judge distance. Accidents waiting to happen who are unsafe at any speed yet seem to avoid being pinged.

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