A targeted campaign by ACT Policing which began two weeks ago has resulted in 207 motorists being issued with Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) for using their handheld mobile phones while driving.
The campaign, which began on August 1, has been conducted in cooperation with the ACT government’s road safety office as the first in a series of targeted programs to address high-risk driving behaviours. The current mobile phone program will continue for another six weeks.
The whole-of-government approach is supported through law enforcement, advertising, community messaging, and public relations.
ACT Policing began its “zero tolerance” enforcement campaign against hand-held mobile phones on August 1. The 207 TINs were issued between August 1-15.
Supporting this campaign, Variable Message Boards have been placed at strategic locations around Canberra warning of the risks of using handheld mobile phones.
Support for the campaign extends through to the senior executive levels of ACT Policing. Shortly after the campaign began, Deputy Chief Police Officer Bruce Hill was among the first to perform a traffic stop on a driver using a handheld mobile phone. CPO Roman Quaedvlieg recently also issued a TIN for the offence.
Traffic Operations Superintendent Mark Colbran said that the Canberra public had been well warned of the intensified enforcement campaign.
“Drivers caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving will be fined $271 and lose three demerit points,” Supt Colbran said.
“If you must take that call, then alternatives such as a portable hands-free Bluetooth kit are a cheaper alternative than receiving a Traffic Infringement Notice. With the ACT road toll now already so high, the key focus for police with this campaign is saving lives on the road by reducing this risk-taking behaviour.”
ACT Policing has charged two teenage girls, one aged 15 and the other 16, following an aggravated robbery in the City overnight.
Police will allege about 9pm last night (Wednesday August 18), a 19-year-old female was leaving the IGA on East Row, Canberra City, when she was approached by the two youths. They demanded cash from the victim and grabbed her purse. A short altercation occurred, resulting in the victim being pushed to the ground by the alleged offenders, before they fled the scene.
A short time later police attended the scene, and observed the two alleged offenders running along Akuna Street before boarding a bus. Police conducted a traffic stop on the bus, and apprehended the two girls.
They will face the ACT Children’s Court this morning charged with aggravated robbery. The 16-year-old south-side female is also charged with breach of bail.
ACT Policing yesterday (Wednesday, August 18) arrested a 24-year-old Florey man and charged him over Saturday’s (August 14) aggravated robbery of the Video Ezy store in Wanganeen Avenue, Ngunnawal.
Acting on information received, police yesterday attended a residence in John Cleland Crescent, Florey around 12.20pm, where the alleged offender was located and arrested without incident.
A search warrant was later executed on the same premises when police located and seized a small amount of drug material suspected to be heroin, and a Taser-type device.
Two stolen Hyundai Excels were located in the carpark of the same unit complex and investigations are continuing as to whether these are linked to the alleged offender.
The man will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court later today charged with a breach of bail and aggravated robbery.
Police are still seeking the maroon Honda CRV with ACT registration which was used during the robbery of the video store on Saturday. Anyone who may have seen this vehicle or can provide any information in relation to it are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website at www.crimestoppers.act.com.au.