Behaviour praised, drugs an issue

Behaviour praised, drugs an issue

East Gippsland police have praised the behaviour of drivers in the region during Operation Roadwise, which ran from Friday December 14, 2018, to midnight on Sunday, January 6.

Acting Senior Sergeant, Andrew Bills, said there were no fatalities or serious injuries on East Gippsland’s arterials, which was a pleasing result.

However, he said the number of drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle with drugs in their system was concerning.

“We’re getting a better strike rate from drug driving, rather than drink driving,” Snr Sgt Bills said.

“We know we have a drug problem up here and we’re still finding a high amount of drug driving in particular.”

Snr Sgt Bills said the general consensus seemed to be that those partaking in drug taking didn’t think it would still be in their system when pulled over and asked to submit to a drug test.

He said drug residue could be detected by the drug tests up to three weeks after having consumed them.

East Gippsland police conducted 177 drugs tests during Operation Roadwise with 13 people testing positive.

More than 3900 preliminary breath tests were undertaken with 25 blowing over the legal limit.

Speed continued to be a problem statewide.

In the Eastern Region, 2189 people were detected driving between 10-25 kilometres over the speed limit while 400 were booked for driving up to 10 kilometres above the limit.
Over the 24 days of the campaign, there were more than 12,000 people detected speeding statewide, placing themselves and others on the roads in danger.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Leane, said: “We know that speed is a major factor in about one third of fatal collisions, and we know that speed increases the chances of a collision.”

Commissioner Leane said other dangerous behaviours on the roads included “having eyes on their phones when they should be on the roads, not wearing seat belts and running red lights or stop signs”.

Statewide, Operation Roadwise detected around one offence every minute.

In the Eastern Region, in which East Gippsland is located, the number of people booked for not obeying traffic signs was 426.

Other offences include: 161 disqualified/suspended drivers; 285 unlicensed drivers; 723 unregistered drivers; 2589 speeding offences; 357 mobile phone offences; 233 seat belt offences; 73 vehicle impounds.

Acting Snr Sgt Andrew Bills, of East Gippsland Police, warned drivers that just because Operation Roadwise has finished, “doesn’t mean we won’t be out and about pulling drivers over for doing the wrong thing and conducting random tests”.