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The long weekend road catch

By johnboy - 11 June 2013 14

ACT Policing issued 137 Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) and 51 cautions over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (June 7-10) despite drivers being put on notice about increased traffic enforcement over the period.

Traffic Operations identified 52 speeding offences during this period; including three drivers caught driving more than 45km/h over the speed limit.

A 24-year-old Farrer man with two previous speeding offences in the past 18 months was caught driving at 131km/h in a 60km/h speed zone on Gunghalin Drive.

A 19-year-old Gowrie man was caught driving at 134km/h in an 80km/h speed zone on Yarra Glen, Curtin. While, an 18-year-old Campbell woman with one previous infringement for speeding in the past 18 months was caught driving at 113km/h in a 60km/h speed zone on Parkes Way, Acton.

The woman’s excuse for speeding was that she ‘was late to a family dinner’.

All three drivers were issued with a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN) for $1811 and the loss of 12 demerit points.

Police conducted 2,439 roadside breath screening tests over the long weekend period with 27 drivers taken into custody for exceeding their relevant prescribed concentration of alcohol.

ACT Policing issued 12 Immediate Suspension Notices (ISNs) to drivers who exceeded their relevant prescribed concentration by greater than 0.050 grams of alcohol.

Around 11.10pm on Saturday evening (8 June) Belconnen Patrol members attended a collision on Aikman Drive, Lawson where a 68-year-old male driver returned a positive roadside screen test for the presence of alcohol. He later provided a sample of breath at the Belconnen Police Station where the result recorded was 0.137grams. As the driver was the holder of a full licence (0.050) he was issued with an ISN.

Around 8.30pm on Saturday evening (8 June) Gungahlin Patrol members conducted a random breath test on a 28-year-old man driving in Ngunnawal. The driver, who had two previous PCA related convictions, returned a positive roadside screen test for the presence of alcohol. He later provided a sample at the Belconnen Police Station where the result recorded was 0.208grams. He was arrested and an ISN was issued.

Officer-in-Charge of Traffic Operations Sergeant Rod Anderson said the Queen’s Birthday long weekend results were disappointing and clearly indicated that drivers still haven’t got the message.

“While drivers travelling in and out of Canberra were generally well behaved those closer to home weren’t and it was lucky there were no major traffic incidents in the ACT,” Sergeant Anderson said.

“If you’re speeding you dramatically increase the risk of serious injury or death should you be involved in a collision. Drivers need to remember speed affects their ability to stop their car to prevent collisions.”

“Likewise, it’s extremely alarming that despite our best efforts, people continue to choose to drink and drive. Our message is simple if you decide to drink and then drive, expect ACT Policing to catch you.”

ACT Policing is targeting alcohol and drug impaired driving during the month of June as part of its multi-agency road safety strategy.

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14 Responses to
The long weekend road catch
noma 11:49 am 12 Jun 13

TAC

milkman said :

chilli said :

Am I the only one who thinks that these results were actually pretty good?

Of 2,439 roadside breath tests, only 0.01% tested positive for a blood alcohol level over 0.05. This doesn’t seem to be a drink driving crime wave to me.

And despite there being 0.01% people on the road with a blood alcohol level over 0.05, there were no alcohol related major traffic incidents. In fact, there were no major traffic incidents at all. Even with 137 people caught speeding (out of the many tens or hundreds of thousands who were on the road in the ACT over the weekend), we managed to not kill or seriously hurt anyone.

Compare this with a report by Runciman et al in 2001 which found that at least 10% of admissions to acute care hospitals in Australia were associated with a potentially preventable adverse event (ie an event caused by human error). “Simply being a patient in an acute care hospital in Australia carries, on average, a 40 fold greater risk of dying from the care process than from being in traffic”, the report states.

This is an even worse statistic considering how little time most of us spend as inpatients compared to being road users. And many more thousands of people are affected. At great cost. So might not the focus on road trauma be a bit disproportionate, especially when, as in the case this weekend, there was not one person seriously hurt?

Human error, negligence and outright law-breaking leading to harm is observable in many social contexts – of which medical misadventure, food poisoning, alcohol fueled violence are a few examples.

Given the great results we’re getting with the road toll compared to other public health issues, isn’t it time to put more resources into other problems?

And please, when less than 0.01% of people are caught drink driving, ACT Policing are undermining their credibility to say that “it’s extremely alarming that despite our best efforts, people continue to choose to drink and drive”, when the real message is that it’s extremely encouraging that 99.99% of people choose not to.

We’ve certainly made good progress on road safety.

Agreed. I remember that when the TAC ads were on TV it really made a difference on road safety. Powderfinger’s “My Happiness” was the theme song in the ads. Good song that, but I digress. Some of the government initiatives in the past few years really helped change attitudes and behaviour of drivers

bundah 9:11 am 12 Jun 13

chilli said :

Am I the only one who thinks that these results were actually pretty good?

Of 2,439 roadside breath tests, only 0.01% tested positive for a blood alcohol level over 0.05. This doesn’t seem to be a drink driving crime wave to me.

And despite there being 0.01% people on the road with a blood alcohol level over 0.05, there were no alcohol related major traffic incidents. In fact, there were no major traffic incidents at all. Even with 137 people caught speeding (out of the many tens or hundreds of thousands who were on the road in the ACT over the weekend), we managed to not kill or seriously hurt anyone.

Compare this with a report by Runciman et al in 2001 which found that at least 10% of admissions to acute care hospitals in Australia were associated with a potentially preventable adverse event (ie an event caused by human error). “Simply being a patient in an acute care hospital in Australia carries, on average, a 40 fold greater risk of dying from the care process than from being in traffic”, the report states.

This is an even worse statistic considering how little time most of us spend as inpatients compared to being road users. And many more thousands of people are affected. At great cost. So might not the focus on road trauma be a bit disproportionate, especially when, as in the case this weekend, there was not one person seriously hurt?

Human error, negligence and outright law-breaking leading to harm is observable in many social contexts – of which medical misadventure, food poisoning, alcohol fueled violence are a few examples.

Given the great results we’re getting with the road toll compared to other public health issues, isn’t it time to put more resources into other problems?

And please, when less than 0.01% of people are caught drink driving, ACT Policing are undermining their credibility to say that “it’s extremely alarming that despite our best efforts, people continue to choose to drink and drive”, when the real message is that it’s extremely encouraging that 99.99% of people choose not to.

The fact that 23-30% of fatal road accidents/collisions are attributed to alcohol/drug consumption would imply that the plods credibility is intact.One can use stats to support any argument however it’s very easy to distort reality.The other accepted fact is that there are many people who,even though they blow under 0.05,are affected by alcohol/drugs to the point that their capacity to react to situations is compromised.The plod don’t report the actual numbers of individuals who blow between 0.02 to 0.05 so 99.99% is I believe unrealistic.

milkman 6:50 am 12 Jun 13

chilli said :

Am I the only one who thinks that these results were actually pretty good?

Of 2,439 roadside breath tests, only 0.01% tested positive for a blood alcohol level over 0.05. This doesn’t seem to be a drink driving crime wave to me.

And despite there being 0.01% people on the road with a blood alcohol level over 0.05, there were no alcohol related major traffic incidents. In fact, there were no major traffic incidents at all. Even with 137 people caught speeding (out of the many tens or hundreds of thousands who were on the road in the ACT over the weekend), we managed to not kill or seriously hurt anyone.

Compare this with a report by Runciman et al in 2001 which found that at least 10% of admissions to acute care hospitals in Australia were associated with a potentially preventable adverse event (ie an event caused by human error). “Simply being a patient in an acute care hospital in Australia carries, on average, a 40 fold greater risk of dying from the care process than from being in traffic”, the report states.

This is an even worse statistic considering how little time most of us spend as inpatients compared to being road users. And many more thousands of people are affected. At great cost. So might not the focus on road trauma be a bit disproportionate, especially when, as in the case this weekend, there was not one person seriously hurt?

Human error, negligence and outright law-breaking leading to harm is observable in many social contexts – of which medical misadventure, food poisoning, alcohol fueled violence are a few examples.

Given the great results we’re getting with the road toll compared to other public health issues, isn’t it time to put more resources into other problems?

And please, when less than 0.01% of people are caught drink driving, ACT Policing are undermining their credibility to say that “it’s extremely alarming that despite our best efforts, people continue to choose to drink and drive”, when the real message is that it’s extremely encouraging that 99.99% of people choose not to.

We’ve certainly made good progress on road safety.

Lillypilly 12:45 am 12 Jun 13

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

“Officer-in-Charge of Traffic Operations Sergeant Rod Anderson said the Queen’s Birthday long weekend results were disappointing and clearly indicated that drivers still haven’t got the message”

Is it just me who realises that sergeant needs to think of another sentence to say about EVERY double demerit period? I don’t think we (the drivers) will never get the “message” (whatever it may be!)

I agree. Why can’t a cop come out with a line like “don’t be a muppet and kill others”?

chilli 12:34 am 12 Jun 13

Am I the only one who thinks that these results were actually pretty good?

Of 2,439 roadside breath tests, only 0.01% tested positive for a blood alcohol level over 0.05. This doesn’t seem to be a drink driving crime wave to me.

And despite there being 0.01% people on the road with a blood alcohol level over 0.05, there were no alcohol related major traffic incidents. In fact, there were no major traffic incidents at all. Even with 137 people caught speeding (out of the many tens or hundreds of thousands who were on the road in the ACT over the weekend), we managed to not kill or seriously hurt anyone.

Compare this with a report by Runciman et al in 2001 which found that at least 10% of admissions to acute care hospitals in Australia were associated with a potentially preventable adverse event (ie an event caused by human error). “Simply being a patient in an acute care hospital in Australia carries, on average, a 40 fold greater risk of dying from the care process than from being in traffic”, the report states.

This is an even worse statistic considering how little time most of us spend as inpatients compared to being road users. And many more thousands of people are affected. At great cost. So might not the focus on road trauma be a bit disproportionate, especially when, as in the case this weekend, there was not one person seriously hurt?

Human error, negligence and outright law-breaking leading to harm is observable in many social contexts – of which medical misadventure, food poisoning, alcohol fueled violence are a few examples.

Given the great results we’re getting with the road toll compared to other public health issues, isn’t it time to put more resources into other problems?

And please, when less than 0.01% of people are caught drink driving, ACT Policing are undermining their credibility to say that “it’s extremely alarming that despite our best efforts, people continue to choose to drink and drive”, when the real message is that it’s extremely encouraging that 99.99% of people choose not to.

bundah 11:21 pm 11 Jun 13

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

“Officer-in-Charge of Traffic Operations Sergeant Rod Anderson said the Queen’s Birthday long weekend results were disappointing and clearly indicated that drivers still haven’t got the message”

Is it just me who realises that sergeant needs to think of another sentence to say about EVERY double demerit period? I don’t think we (the drivers) will never get the “message” (whatever it may be!)

To top it off he says “Our message is simple if you decide to drink and then drive,expect ACT Policing to catch you”. What he undoubtedly would love to be able to say immediately afterwards is ‘and then the bloody magistrates will get the feather dusters out and give ’em what for just to really rub it in!

La_Tour_Maubourg 10:28 pm 11 Jun 13

“Officer-in-Charge of Traffic Operations Sergeant Rod Anderson said the Queen’s Birthday long weekend results were disappointing and clearly indicated that drivers still haven’t got the message”

Is it just me who realises that sergeant needs to think of another sentence to say about EVERY double demerit period? I don’t think we (the drivers) will never get the “message” (whatever it may be!)

JC 8:57 pm 11 Jun 13

It was interesting to see the coppers doing a blitz on Parkes Way on Saturday morning. First time throughout the whole roadworks I have seen coppers there.

The bizarre thing though is even on a long weekend Saturday morning there were two stretches where there were workers working with 40km/h zones, yet the blitz was in the 60km/h section on the finished bit of road just round the left turn heading towards the city.

Of course once people were past the blitz they sped up including through the two 40km/h sections. Maybe they should have been policing those instead.

Tooks 8:34 pm 11 Jun 13

EvanJames said :

Solidarity said :

I wonder how many people they didn’t catch…

No tailgaters were caught this weekend. I’ll put money on that.

Do you really want to put your money where your mouth is? How much you got?

dtc 7:41 pm 11 Jun 13

1. well done to white Touareg driver YTH…. who, with kids in the car (or someone in the back seat watching DVDs) managed to overtake across double lines and moving one car up at a time all the way to get at least a whole 12 cars ahead – in a queue of about 150 cars…

2. that said, with all the speed limit changes on the King’s Highway, from Braidwood to BB the zones go 100, 90, 70, 90, 70, 80, 90, 100, 80, 100. Or something like that. Anyway, its damn easy to miss one sign… (no, I didnt get booked. But there were times when I had no idea whether the speed limit had changed or not). A few more signs would be good.

However, in general the driving was fine – cruised along at about 5-10km/h below the posted limit but in a long snake of cars that was entirely reasonable. Amazing how many people were heading down at 4pm on Thursday, however.

troll-sniffer 6:34 pm 11 Jun 13

Drove up the coast for the long weekend and saw a few hairy episodes, had to take evasive action for one incident, the rest I just witnessed as I drove serenely along perfectly safely a few clicks over the arbitrary speed limit (except where the traffic density and speed made it prudent to continue under the posted limit of course).

First incident: Driver ahead of a peleton of cars braked to well below the limit when she saw a NSW cop car lurking like a sewer rat in the bushes with a radar gun. Several cars got a surprise and had to quickly change lanes etc. Good one cop, you were the only danger on that stretch of road.

Second incident: Driver ahead of me slammed on the brakes when she saw a cop car lurking in the bushes. Had I been a little less attentive I might have been in serious trouble trying to avoid running into her. (And for all the perfect drivers out there in Riot-Act land, 100% total concentration for 5-6 hours might be possible for a robot but I don’t know any humans who can manage it, even you perfect beings). The cop was facing the other way zapping cars going the other way, but the double demerits campaign makes a percentage of drivers paranoid it seems.

Third incident(s): Several times coming down from Newcastle the traffic bunched up quite dangerously as cars doing the regulation 110km/hr were forced to brake and jockey for position due to the stupid NSW law forcing P Platers to do 90km/hr max. Sure, it’s easy for the perfect ones amongst us here on Riot Act to say the drivers should have been more attentive and aware but the reality is, not once but several times I saw groups of cars get into awkward situations because of an unexpected slow driver being a hazard on the road. It has to be safer to let P Platers travel at the same limit as everyone else on wide freeways, surely?

Did I see any incidents caused by normal driver behaviour amongst cars that were going faster than the limit etc? Not one. The only incidents I saw were a direct result of the current misguided enforcement policies in particular this bizarre notion that double demerit weekends actually lower the crash rate. If anything I suspect the approach increases the crash rate as nervous drivers do unexpected things, worried about the severity of possible penalties.

EvanJames 4:35 pm 11 Jun 13

Solidarity said :

I wonder how many people they didn’t catch…

No tailgaters were caught this weekend. I’ll put money on that.

Solidarity 3:36 pm 11 Jun 13

I wonder how many people they didn’t catch…

Felix the Cat 3:30 pm 11 Jun 13

How many of these lawbreakers were riding bicycles? If these car drivers paid rego…

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