Police smoke out offenders
Drug drivers caught during Warrego Hwy safety blitz
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
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.
INVESTIGATION: MOCS (Rural) Detective Sergeant Troy Whittle chats with a motorist during Operation Quebec Smoke.