Hoons and road rage top the list

Townsville Bulletin - - Talk Of North -

TOWNSVILLE res­i­dents are con­tin­u­ing to get be­hind the wheel af­ter hav­ing too much to drink.

An alarm­ing 10 per cent of re­spon­dents to a Townsville Bul­letin read­ers sur­vey ad­mit­ted to driv­ing when they knew they had con­sumed too much al­co­hol.

Hooning and road rage in­ci­dents were the other road is­sues most con­cern­ing to al­most 1100 re­spon­dents to the an­nual De­cem­ber sur­vey.

North­ern Re­gion Traf­fic Coo r d i n a t o r I n s p e c t o r B r i a n Richard­son said po­lice had no delu­sions about the drink driv­ing is­sue.

‘‘We are not naive, we know there are those who, due to lifestyle habits or what­ever, will con­sis­tently go to the pub and have a few drinks, then get be­hind the wheel,’’ Insp Richard­son said.

But he warned it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore drink driv­ers were caught.

‘‘We are fairly ran­dom where we set up and with the amount of RBTs we have been con­duct­ing, it is only a mat­ter of time.’’

A huge 66 per cent of 1085 re­spon­dents said they had wit­nessed a hooning in­ci­dent in Townsville.

How­ever only 20 per cent of those re­ported it to po­lice.

Insp Richard­son said hooning was an on­go­ing prob­lem in Townsville, par­tic­u­larly around The Strand, and outer sub­urbs in­clud­ing Kirwan, An­nan­dale and the Up­per Ross.

He urged res­i­dents to re­port hooning of­fences as they oc­curred.

‘‘Peo­ple might think we are too busy and won’t in­ves­ti­gate, but take that reg­is­tra­tion num­ber down. We will put it on our file, it may be used for fur­ther intelligence if th­ese peo­ple are re­peat of­fend­ers.’’

Insp Richard­son said po­lice of­fi­cers must catch the hoons in the act to charge them un­der anti-hooning laws, which was no easy task.

And 34 per cent of re­spon­dents said they had been in­volved in a road rage in­ci­dent.

While Insp Richard­son ad­mit­ted road rage was a prob­lem coun­try­wide, he said it was rare for a road rage in­ci­dent to es­ca­late into a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion in Townsville.

‘‘It is usu­ally spur of the mo­ment with a bit of ver­bal abuse or fist wav­ing, when driv­ers get a bit hot un­der the col­lar for a short mo­ment.

‘‘Usu­ally it comes back to the fact some­one has done the wrong thing and nearly caused a col­li­sion.

‘‘Par­tic­u­larly on multi-lane roads or com­ing off round­abouts, where peo­ple may not in­di­cate or cut oth­ers off.

‘‘With the in­crease in traf­fic on the roads it will re­sult in more in­stances of road rage.

‘‘A lot of the time a driver will have good rea­son to be up­set, but they should take a deep breath, calm down and put it down to ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

In Septem­ber, Pre­mier Peter Beat­tie said he would look at es­tab­lish­ing a road-rage hot­line if re­elected.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Judy Spence said the Gov­ern­ment was also con­sid­er­ing set­ting up a hoon hot­line.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.