Police pleased by fatality free Easter holiday period, but driver behaviour concerning

Police test drivers over Easter

ACT Policing say they are pleased the Australian Capital Territory remained fatality-free over the Easter holiday period, but a number of disappointing traffic incidents were identified during Operation Easter Impairment.

The objective of Operation Easter Impairment was to maintain a high level of safety on ACT roads through a highly visible police presence focusing on impaired driving and speed.

Acting Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman from ACT Policing Traffic Operations said the good news is there were no fatal collisions in the ACT, but a number of other trends and incidents were concerning and disappointing.

“During Operation Easter Impairment, ACT Policing Traffic Operations members issued 246 Traffic Infringement Notices (TIN’s), with 105 TIN’s issued for excessive speed. The highest speed detected was 140km/h in 80km/h zone.

“Also disappointing was the 30 drivers that returned a positive roadside drug test. 145 random drug tests were conducted during the four day operation and to detect 30 positive samples is alarming. That is approximately one positive test for every five tests conducted,” Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

During the operation, a number of significant traffic offences were detected. In separate incidents, two provisional licence holders were stopped after driving through a red traffic light. One driver returned a positive alcohol reading of 0.198 and the other driver returned a positive alcohol reading of 0.135 while driving an unregistered motor vehicle.

“In another incident, police detected a speeding motorist travelling at 81km/h in a 60km/h zone while the front passenger was holding an unrestrained eight week old infant in her lap.

“Furthermore, during an apprehension of a male driver for drug driving offences it was discovered the driver was arrested a week earlier for similar offences, and this was the sixth time he’s been apprehended for drug driving and traffic offences. That’s unacceptable and concerning behaviour that could have fatal consequences,” Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.

During the operation, ACT Traffic Operations members conducted more than 6300 random breath tests for alcohol, with nine drivers providing samples exceeding their licence conditions.

“While random roadside drug tests recorded a high percentage of positive results, it is pleasing to see the rate of people apprehended for drink driving was low. This indicates people are pre-planning and looking at alternate transport options or are using a designated driver when they go out and consume alcohol. During the operation, police recorded one positive breath test for every 700 tests conducted.

“Our message remains the same even though the operation has ceased; ACT Policing will not tolerate speeding or impaired drivers and will make every effort to continue to remove these drivers from our roads,” Acting Station Sergeant Boorman said.