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Police Wrap – 14 September

By johnboy - 14 September 2009 18

1. Clift Crescent, home to stupidity?

    An ACT Policing officer was allegedly assaulted by a motorist whilst conducting Random Breath Test duties in Richardson on Saturday afternoon, leaving him with cuts and abrasions to his face and neck.

    The officer, from the Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team, was conducting RBT on Clift Crescent about 6.00pm when a driver tested positive to a roadside screening test and became aggressive.

    The 36-year-old male driver, who recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.089, was arrested and will appear in court on September 21 charged with driving in excess of the prescribed concentration of alcohol, resisting police and causing harm to a Commonwealth Public Official.

    In a separate incident a man was arrested in Wanniassa in the early hours of Sunday morning after the vehicle he was allegedly driving collided with a tree outside a house on Wheeler Crescent.

    The male and a female were seen by nearby residents running from the collision and were apprehended by police a short time later. The male subsequently recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.136. He will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date.

    Of the 16 drivers who tested positive to breath tests over the weekend (Friday 11 – Sunday 13 September), eight were holders of provisional or probationary licences, restricting them to a 0.02 blood alcohol level. Of more concern, a number of these drivers recorded a level in excess of 0.10, including 0.185 and 0.190.

    Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations Sergeant Erin Pobar says this is a blatant and reprehensible disregard for not only the law, but the safety of other road users and the passengers travelling with the drivers.

    “These drivers may feel that they are immune to the tragedy that can occur on our roads when people drink and drive and unfortunately if they continue to drive whilst under the influence of alcohol they will find out the hard way that they are not. This may be through the loss of their own life, or being responsible for the death or maiming of someone else – something they will have to live with for the rest of their life,” Sgt Pobar said.

    “As I have said before, we are constantly patrolling all ACT roads conducting random breath testing in an effort to get these drivers off the roads before their stupidity ruins someone’s family. Drink drivers appear to be more concerned with avoiding police detection than they do about taking someone’s life and that is a very sad reflection on elements of our society.” she said.

2. Cotter Bashing:

    A 15-year-old boy from the North Canberra area will appear in the ACT Children’s Court this morning charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

    This follows an incident about 12.30pm yesterday at Casuarina Sands where a 14-year-old boy was assaulted. The victim received bruises and scratches as a result of the assault.

    Investigations are continuing.

3. Southern Collisions:

    ACT Policing is investigating two collisions which occurred in Canberra’s south today around 9.30am.

    The first occurred in Oldfield Circuit, Kambah where an initial assessment of the scene indicates a 33-year-old pedestrian was struck by a vehicle crushing the man against a stationary vehicle.

    The driver of the vehicle is assisting police with the investigation. The pedestrian is in a critical condition in The Canberra Hospital.

    The second collision occurred in Weston Creek, when a cyclist hit a stationary vehicle. He remains in The Canberra Hospital in a serious condition also.

    Police would urge anyone who may have witnessed these collisions and are yet to speak with police, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

    Police are issuing a warning to the Canberra public to show due care whilst driving in and around Canberra, as there have now been three serious collisions with the last 15 hours on Canberra’s roads, including the fatal collision at Paddy’s River overnight.

4. Official word on the Arboretum:

    ACT Policing is investigating the theft of 138 plants from the Canberra International Arboretum over the weekend.

    Between 4pm Friday and 9am Saturday unknown offenders have stolen 59 Fagus (Beech) trees and 79 Pear trees from the arboretum, valued at approximately $6,700. It is believed a vehicle was used to transport the trees from the site.

    Police are seeking public assistance in an effort to locate the stolen plants, particularly any motorists travelling on the Tuggeranong Parkway who may have seen any suspicious activity.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.

    5. Paddy’s River fatality:

    ACT Policing and other emergency services personnel are currently at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle collision at Paddy’s River.

    Just before 7.15pm police were advised of the single vehicle collision about two kilometres south of the Old Cotter Pub on Paddy’s River Road. Initial investigations indicate the vehicle, containing two adults and six children, left the road, went down an embankment and rolled.

    A 36-year-old female passenger sustained critical injuries and died at the scene while the male driver, 37, received moderate injuries and was transported by ACT Ambulance to the Canberra Hospital. The six children received minor injuries and were also conveyed to the Canberra Hospital for treatment.

    Officers from ACT Policing’s Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal traffic incident.

    Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call Crime Stoppers.

If you can help police contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Police Wrap – 14 September
DJ 9:49 am 16 Sep 09

caf said :

It’d be nice if we didn’t punish people for doing the right thing. The parking inspectors are always out in force on the dot at 8:30am on Saturday morning, patrolling the mostly-empty carparks booking the cars that have been left behind in Civic by owners who realised they needed to find another way home.

Maybe we should allow free parking until midday Saturday for any cars that were already there at 6am?

Not a bad idea but how is this enforced?

Doctor Evil 9:17 am 16 Sep 09

Jeremy Clarkson reckons he has the solution…..

http://www.topgear.com/au/jeremy-clarkson/clarkson-drinking-2009-05-20

dvaey 9:03 am 16 Sep 09

Spideydog said :

90% of the time, the excuse given to me, for them drink driving was “I was bloody stupid” Thats all the research I need…

Pointing the finger at something or someone else is a cop out.

I dont disagree that its stupid and that its wrong to blame someone/something else. However, Im not adverse to the fact that if there IS some solution that could potentially reduce the number of drink-drivers on our roads, that maybe its worth looking into instead of just throwing everyone in jail or suspending their licences, which leads them to just drive unlicenced. ie. if there are a number of people being caught driving to/from some suburban clubs maybe its worth looking at shuttle buses.

I used to live in wollongong where the local pub introduced a shuttle-bus and drink driving in the area basically disappeared overnight, so while I agree it is the individual that makes the choice, that doesnt instantly mean that nothing can be done to potentially change that choice, and I think its a cop-out to simply blame the driver 100% of the time if there are potential solutions. As you pointed out, it doesnt just affect them, it affects everyone who shares the road with them.. shouldnt we as a society open our eyes to find a solution? Even if it might cost a bit more to put extra buses on, or lose out a bit on taxi licence fees so operators can reduce their costs.

Spideydog 10:21 pm 15 Sep 09

90% of the time, the excuse given to me, for them drink driving was “I was bloody stupid” Thats all the research I need…..

As it was said earlier, if you can’t organise a designated driver or another alternative to driving after drinking, DON’T DRINK.

Pointing the finger at something or someone else is a cop out.

dvaey 9:01 pm 15 Sep 09

poptop said :

The reason people drink drive is they seem to believe thay have some RIGHT to drink enough to be inefficient on the road and then drive their cars.

This is based on what? Has a study been done of people convicted of DUI where the results have come back that the only reason they did it was because they were self-centered? I was suggesting that maybe a study could be done instead of making assumptions, as we all know what assumptions are the mother of.

poptop said :

IMO if you can’t organise a designated driver or a taxi home or finish the night out in time to catch the bus, then you are an idiot/criminal to be taking your car with you when you go out drinking.

As I pointed out in my post, the buses stop around 11pm and resume again at 8:30 in the morning. If you happen to be unlucky enough to miss the last bus, or wish to visit a nightclub after 11pm, the only public transport option available is an expensive taxi fare, if you can even find a taxi after midnight.

I suspect part of the problem is with everyone involved in the bureaucracy working 9-5 mon-fri, they never consider that people might want to get around late at night when they are tucked up in bed like good little public servants.

Ozi 7:56 pm 15 Sep 09

Clift Crescent is a remarkably dangerous stretch of road: long, sweeping bends which seem to encourage the ‘inner rally-car driver” in people, and a lot of trees near the side of the road. Oh, and the busy bike park, residential areas and parkland.

Sadly, this stretch of road caught out a carload of kids earlier this year, with multiple fatalities: high-powered HSV, young, inexperienced driver and a tree. Not a good combo. People should not be drink driving, but to be doing so mid afternoon, on the weekend (kids everywhere!) and on this dangerous stretch of road is immensely dense. Then again, the guy did punch on with the cops so he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Zanzibert 4:14 pm 15 Sep 09

“It is believed a vehicle was used to transport the trees from the site.”

To their credit, the police did allow for the possibility that a well-coordinated team of elite powerlifting seagulls had assisted in the theft. They just lacked evidence for this scenario.

Feathergirl 2:39 pm 15 Sep 09

What kind of numpkin steals trees?? That’s pretty low.

caf 1:49 pm 15 Sep 09

It’d be nice if we didn’t punish people for doing the right thing. The parking inspectors are always out in force on the dot at 8:30am on Saturday morning, patrolling the mostly-empty carparks booking the cars that have been left behind in Civic by owners who realised they needed to find another way home.

Maybe we should allow free parking until midday Saturday for any cars that were already there at 6am?

Igglepiggle 1:10 pm 15 Sep 09

hk0reduck said :

It is believed a vehicle was used to transport the trees from the site.

It’s a good thing they mentioned this. Ever since I heard about this crime I’ve been on the lookout for a lone guy walking by the side of the road carrying 138 plants carefully balanced on his shoulders.

You beat me to it! would have been a long process sans vehicle!

hk0reduck 9:53 am 15 Sep 09

It is believed a vehicle was used to transport the trees from the site.

It’s a good thing they mentioned this. Ever since I heard about this crime I’ve been on the lookout for a lone guy walking by the side of the road carrying 138 plants carefully balanced on his shoulders.

Clown Killer 9:49 am 15 Sep 09

I’m with poptop. There is absolutely no excuse for getting well and truly liquored and then getting behind the wheel. It’s immaterial if there are no buses after dark or if taxi queues are a week long – it still boils down to complete and utter selfish stupidity. The fact that these pathetic morons would rely on excuses based on the availability of public transport or taxis simply goes to highlight their selfishness, stupidity and utter contempt for other citizens.

P Taker 9:31 am 15 Sep 09

I agree dvaey.
I also think it really cheapens the seriousness of drink driving when the big shock over the weekend is those poor kidnapped trees. Probably the real shock was that it was stanhope realising something was amiss in the ACT. Finally! Now he just needs to look at the bigger picture….

poptop 9:25 am 15 Sep 09

The reason people drink drive is they seem to believe thay have some RIGHT to drink enough to be inefficient on the road and then drive their cars.

IMO if you can’t organise a designated driver or a taxi home or finish the night out in time to catch the bus, then you are an idiot/criminal to be taking your car with you when you go out drinking.

On a lighter note I’m loving that everyone seems to be asking what our Lord Mayor was doing walking arount the Arbouretum when it is supposedly closed to the public. There seems to a sniff of special rules for special people going on.

dvaey 12:01 am 15 Sep 09

While we can all stand back and criticize those people who choose to drink-drive on our roads, with the seemingly increasing number of these cases, maybe its time to step back and question WHY these people are choosing to risk their licence and their lives with their actions? Could it be a lack of proper public transport, or the expense and apparent difficulty in getting a cab, or some other potentially solvable situation?

If police caught one or two people per weekend, it could be put down to stupidity, but when police are catching dozens of people on some weekends, with all the publicity surrounding drink driving, maybe the government needs to look at WHY people are choosing to take the risk and try to solve the problem rather than simply punishing those who make a choice. While this does not excuse an individuals choice to drive while intoxicated, if we looked at the cause of the problem rather than just the effect, there might be room for improvement.

The fact that buses stop at 11pm, or that you can wait for several hours for a taxi, are examples. In my younger days, I was often driving hence I chose not to drink. The nights I did choose to drink, and act responsibly, I caught a bus into the city then after the clubs closed at 2am or 5am, waited in the bus interchange until the first bus arrived at 7am or so. Given this situation, I can understand why someone might think its worth the risk, given the choice of trying to beat the RBT on the way home or sit around for 3-4hrs in the cold and dark waiting for a bus. The other option is to wait around for an hour or two, for the privellige of paying a taxi driver $50 for the 15min drive home.

Isnt it time we realised that just threatening people with police action simply isnt 100% effective, and it might be time to look at the root cause of the problem, and *WHY* people make the choices they do, even when the potential outcomes are known. I may be wrong, but I wouldnt be surprised if the DUI rate in the ACT is higher than it is in other cities where there is more efficient/effective late night public transport, and those who do decide to have a big night out can get home safely without costing an arm and a leg.

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