10 January 2023

Poor driver behaviour mars start of holiday period

| Kim Treasure
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Police are appealing to drivers to show more sense on the roads this holiday season. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

With the holiday period only just underway, ACT Police say they are dismayed by the poor behaviour already displayed on our roads.

There have already been several collisions and serious driving offences and police say some drivers are displaying a blatant disregard for the safety of other road-users.

Police detected an e-scooter being ridden at 100km/h and a ute driver at almost 50km/h more than the speed limit on the morning of 23 December and officers on the afternoon shift found driver behaviour hadn’t improved.

In a two-hour period, police responded to several collisions. The most serious occurred on the Monaro Highway, Gilmore, about 2:20 pm when a black Ford Falcon crossed the median strip and collided with a Ford tray-back utility.

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Police, ACT Fire & Rescue, and ACT Ambulance Service responded to the collision, which closed the highway for several hours. The drivers of both vehicles were taken to hospital by ambulance.

About 3:55 pm police received reports that a silver Toyota Camry had rolled several times on the Majura Parkway, Majura.

Police, ACT Fire & Rescue, and ACT Ambulance Service attended the scene, and police found the driver, a 28-year-old Chifley man, attempting to leave the scene. He recorded a positive result for alcohol in a roadside screening test and was taken into custody.

The man will be summonsed to appear in court in 2023 on charges including drink driving and driving while suspended.

ACT Policing has begun investigating both these accidents. Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police, or anyone with video footage of either collision is urged to come forward by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website. Please quote 7305217 for the Monaro Highway collision, or 7305295 for the Majura Parkway incident.

Police also arrested a 34–year-old Holt man when they observed him allegedly attaching incorrect number plates to his vehicle in Hall.

Police checks revealed the man was a disqualified driver, and a roadside test recorded a positive indication to drugs.

He was charged with driving while disqualified, drug driving, and using a number plate not properly issued.

A 50-year-old Reid man was also charged with drug driving and unlicensed driving after he was stopped by police while riding a motorcycle in Hackett.

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The man, who is on bail, was arrested after he recorded a positive reading for drugs in a roadside test.

About 12:50 pm Saturday, 24 December, officers on patrol on Bindubi Street, Cook, detected an orange Honda CBR motorbike travelling at 125km/h, 45km/h faster than the posted speed limit.

When the motorcycle stopped, the rider, a 19-year-old Aranda man, produced a learner licence – despite there not being an L plate displayed on the motorcycle. The man also returned a positive result for a prescribed drug.

Further police checks revealed the motorcycle ridden by the man is not listed on the ACT Road Transport Authority’s list of approved motorcycles for learner riders. The man will face court in January.

About 8 am Sunday, 25 December 2022, police detected a red Toyota being driven by a 33-year-old Coombs man at 116km/h on Belconnen Way, Aranda, which has a sign posted speed limit of 80km/h.

The man received a traffic infringement notice (TIN) for a $700 fine and eight demerit points.

About 9:15 am Sunday, a 49-year-old Throsby man driving a black Jeep Grand Cherokee was stopped by police on Majura Parkway, Majura.

The man recorded a blood alcohol content of 0.171, which is more than three times the legal 0.05 limit. His ACT heavy vehicle driver licence was instantly suspended for 90 days and he will be summonsed to attend the ACT Magistrates Court next year.

Also on Christmas morning, police conducted a traffic targeting operation on Oaks Estate Road, Majura, where 235 breath screens and four drug tests were conducted. One driver, a 38-year-old Karabar (NSW) man, returned a positive drug result.

He was taken into custody as he also had an outstanding ACT arrest warrant and will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court today (26 December 2022) charged with drug driving, and driving while suspended.

About 1:50 pm, police stopped a grey Mazda detected at 131km/h in the 80km/h zone on Horse Park Drive, Kenny.

The 32-year-old woman driving the Mazda produced a Tongan licence and told police she was running late for work. She was issued a TIN, including a $1841 fine for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h. She will accrue 12 demerit points, which will remove her right to drive in Australia for three months.

About 3:30 pm in the 80km/h zone on the Barton Highway, Kaleen, officers detected a black Volkswagen Golf with expired registration travelling at 107km/h.

The driver, a 20-year-old Fraser man, produced an expired Probationary driving licence. He was issued fines totaling $2794, and will not be able to renew his licence, as it will be suspended for three months.

And officers from Gungahlin Police Station on patrol observed a blue Ford Laser with registration that had expired in April 2022 being driven erratically on Gungahlin Drive, Gungahlin, about 5:10 pm.

When the driver stopped for police, checks revealed the driver had been disqualified since 2007. The 37-year-old Hughes man was also showing signs of intoxication and was taken into custody. He will face the ACT Magistrates Court today charged with driving while disqualified, driving under the influence, using an unregistered vehicle, using an uninsured vehicle and breach of good behaviour obligations.

Road users are reminded that double demerit points apply in the ACT until 11:59 pm, 2 January 2023, and that police can be on any road, at any time. Any police vehicle can be used to conduct mobile random breath testing.

Officer in Charge, ACT Road Policing, Acting Inspector Travis Mills was dismayed by the poor behaviour already displayed this holiday period.

“I am very disappointed that these drivers would not only put their lives at risk but show no care for other road users,” Acting Inspector Mills said.

“What we’ve seen here is people showing a blatant disregard for their own safety on the roads, and that of others during what should be a time of celebration.”

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Druggie drivers will continue to drive whether licensed or not. The others depicted in the article were drunks. Poor driving as depicted in the article is not represented by Ma and Pa Kettle driving to their holiday spot

Megan van der Velde3:37 pm 27 Dec 22

Scary these people could cause other innocent drivers, doing the right thing, their lives. We live in a small town with pretty good roads. They are going to get caught at some point. Hopefully no one gets hurt or worse 🙁

Obviously the potential for being caught, the size of the fines imposed and threat to other road users has no influence with a lot of these drivers (and just imagine the ones that did not get caught). Remove the source of the issue (impound their vehicle for six months) and get the offender to attend driver education courses prior to resitting their three year provisional drivers licence test. They could always catch the tram or find a bus that is suitable in the meanwhile.

Great to see police monitoring and prosecuting bad drivers, as many have gotten too relaxed with the idea that they’re unlikely to be caught. Clearly, they don’t care about other road users, so being caught may have an impact… perhaps. Some are just incompetent and shouldn’t be on the road at all. Others have been thoughtless and may think more in future, one hopes.

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