- ACT Policing will be out in force over the next 10 days, conducting a progressive traffic campaign across Canberra suburbs aimed at identifying those motorists who continue to ignore police warnings.
Whilst the major focus of the campaign will be drink-driving, Acting Superintendent Traffic Operations Daryl Neit says police will be targeting all traffic offences, and is putting motorists on notice to obey the road rules or face possible fines and the loss of demerit points.
“Traditionally motorists heed our warnings over the Christmas/New Year period and then again over the Easter holiday period. Whilst this is good, we don’t want complacency to set in during the months in between,” A/Supt Neit said.
“The commencement of this campaign coincides with the Canberra long weekend, traditionally a time when more motorists are on our roads. Police will be out to make sure everyone’s weekend is enjoyable and free from tragedy,” he said.
ACT Policing is aiming for a road toll of nine or less for 2009, and A/Supt Neit says for this to be achieved, people need to drive to the road rules and acknowledge that there is no excuse for drink-driving.
“We know that drink-driving kills, we know that it’s not socially acceptable, yet it amazes me that some Canberra drivers still seem to think it is OK. We need to catch these people before they meet with more dire consequences, or worse, injure or kill someone else,” he said.
Amongst other traffic offences, police will also be targeting motorist who drive while using a mobile phone, and drivers and passengers who fail to wear a seatbelt, after some disappointing results during a recent two day blitz.
During the blitz, conducted in the last week of February, a total of 39 motorists were identified as using a mobile phone while driving, while a further 41 drivers and passengers were detected travelling without a seatbelt.
“Drivers who use their phone while driving are up to nine times more likely to crash and often engage in unsafe driving practices, such as tailgating and ignoring road signs, without even being aware they are doing so, such is the high level of their distraction,” A/Supt Neit said.
“There seems to be a compulsion by drivers to answer their mobile phone when it rings, regardless of the road safety risk this presents to themselves and everyone around. No phone call is worth risking your life. Take that extra minute or so to find a safe place to pull over before using your phone or just turn it off before you leave; it will take a message,” he said.
- Operation Mersey is the ACT Policing investigation into the murder of Kathryn Anne Grosvenor in 2002.
Ms Grosvenor’s body was found in Lake Burley Griffin, near Attunga Point, on March 9, 2002 after she went missing six days earlier.
Ms Grosvenor, then aged 23, was last seen by her cousin on the evening of March 3 in the house they shared in Nicholls. There were two further unconfirmed sightings of her in the Gold Creek area the night she went missing, the second sighting at the George Harcourt Inn, Nicholls where she was thought to have purchased cigarettes between 9.05pm and 9.15pm.
Despite a lengthy murder investigation led by police from the Territory Investigations Group, and the identification of a number of ‘persons of interest’, no one has been charged with her murder.
Police are still seeking the items of clothing worn by Ms Grosvenor the night she went missing, including a distinctive pair of electric blue platform boots.
Kathryn Grosvenor would have celebrated her 30th birthday last month (February 13), whilst Monday will mark seven years since the discovery of her body (March 9).
A $250,000 reward is still in place for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Kathryn Grosvenor.
In addition, an appropriate indemnity from prosecution will be considered for any accomplice, not being the person who actually committed the crime, who first gives the information. The grant of any such indemnity is at the discretion of the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions.
If you can help police contact them via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.act.crimstoppers.com.au