Police disappointed with a number of drug and speeding drivers

imnage of police car with lights flashing

ACT Policing is disappointed with the number of drug drivers detected over the holiday double demerit period (Saturday, 23 December 2016 to Monday, 2 January 2017).

Over the holiday period ACT Policing’s Road Safety Operations Team conducted 88 roadside drug tests with 28 drivers returning a positive indication for drugs, pending further analysis. On Monday (2 January 2017), nine drivers were detected on a single day.

Acting Officer in Charge of Traffic, Sergeant Ken Hedges said the number of drug drivers caught was of concern for police.

“Drug driving is downright dangerous, not just to the driver but to everyone on the road around them. It’s disappointing for police that these drivers aren’t getting the message or taking responsibility."

“The message should be clear to everyone: don’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol and don’t speed.   The risk of having a collision is increased by a factor of between 100 and 160 times if drivers combine drugs and alcohol, even with a alcohol content under 0.04%.   Police actively target this dangerous behaviour and you will be caught, anywhere anytime,” Sergeant Hedges said.

Over the double demerit period, ACT Policing issued 289 Traffic Infringement Notices and 151 Cautions for traffic offences. The most common offences were speeding, being unregistered/uninsured, mobile phone use and not wearing seatbelts.

“Alarmingly, over the short period police caught 141 speeding drivers, with four drivers high-range speeding more than 45km/h over the limit,” Sergeant Hedges said.

“Police also issued infringements for burnouts, negligent driving, driving with occupants having a body part out the window or door and driving with passengers in an area of the vehicle not designed for passengers. This sort of driving is just irresponsible and we’re extremely disappointed to see people driving with such disregard for their safety and the safety of others.”

During one incident, police detected a speeding motorist driving 120km/h in an 80km/h zone. When stopped by police, the driver was identified as being a disqualified driver in an unregistered vehicle. The driver also returned a positive indication for drugs during a roadside drug test, pending further analysis.

“We did see some positives this holiday period – during the New Year’s Eve celebrations police conducted over 800 random roadside breath tests and caught just one driver over the alcohol limit. We’re certainly pleased that New Year’s revellers got the message and decided to plan a safe way to and from their celebrations.”

“Given the number of dangerous drivers police caught over the holiday period, we are certainly relieved that there were no lives lost on Canberra roads.”

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