Po­lice smoke out of­fend­ers

Drug driv­ers caught dur­ing War­rego Hwy safety blitz

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Ali Kuchel Ali.kuchel@gat­ton­star.com.au

IN A six-hour road safety blitz, 17 mo­torists us­ing the War­rego High­way were caught drug driv­ing by Queens­land Po­lice.

More than 100 of­fi­cers were in­volved in Op­er­a­tion Que­bec Smoke, which was aimed at de­liv­er­ing a road safety mes­sage to mo­torists, as well as con­duct­ing ran­dom breath tests, drug tests and ve­hi­cle in­spec­tions.

In­spec­tor Sha­ree Cum­ming was sat­is­fied with the out­come of the op­er­a­tion and said she did not go into the day with any ex­pec­ta­tions in terms of fig­ures.

“(But) 17 drug driv­ers in the space of six hours is re­ally con­cern­ing,” she said.

A to­tal of 2800 ran­dom breath tests were con­ducted, which caught two drink driv­ers.

Po­lice is­sued 48 traf­fic in­fringe­ment no­tices, which in­cluded 13 Fa­tal Five of­fences, and 12 no­tices to ap­pear for un­li­censed driv­ing.

Seven peo­ple were charged with a to­tal of 14 drug of­fences and one

❝(But)

17 drug driv­ers in the space of six hours is re­ally con­cern­ing.

— In­spec­tor Sha­ree Cum­ming

per­son was is­sued with an ar­rest for war­rants.

Five ve­hi­cles were also towed away.

“The num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers you see out here on the roads to­day high­lights just how im­por­tant road safety is to the pub­lic,” Insp Cum­ming said.

Both direc­tions of the War­rego Hwy were re­duced to one lane be­tween UQ Gat­ton cam­pus and the over­pass from about 8.30am on Wed­nes­day last week.

Insp Cum­ming said road safety was “vi­tally im­por­tant” as it af­fected every­body.

“If we can in­ter­cept peo­ple and talk to them about road safety in this pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, (and) if it raises the aware­ness for an­other hour or so down the road, then it goes some­way to con­tribut­ing to the safety when they’re driv­ing,” she said.

This year, there have been 187 road-re­lated deaths across Queens­land, 10 of which oc­curred in the Dar­ling Downs re­gion.

That’s three more on last year.

Insp Cum­ming said the op­er­a­tion was not just about ran­dom breath tests and ve­hi­cle in­spec­tions, but cre­at­ing aware­ness for driv­ers.

“We’re try­ing to get the bulk of the vol­ume (of traf­fic) but it’s a dual-lane high­way both ways,” she said.

On av­er­age, Insp Cum­ming said about 1500 ve­hi­cles trav­elled the War­rego Hwy every hour and the goal was to in­ter­cept about 50 to 60 per cent of mo­torists.

“If we can get more than that, then we’re do­ing well,” she said.

PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

IN­VES­TI­GA­TION: MOCS (Ru­ral) De­tec­tive Sergeant Troy Whit­tle chats with a mo­torist dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Que­bec Smoke.

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