RBTs nab 30 driv­ers on drugs

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS MCMA­HON

THIRTY peo­ple were caught drug­driv­ing dur­ing the Townsville 400 week­end, which marked the end of the school hol­i­days.

Po­lice is­sued 208 fines and nine no­tices to ap­pear in court for those and other in­fringe­ments but did not catch any drink- driv­ers from al­most 350 RBTs con­ducted from July 7- 9.

In the two weeks prior to the race week­end, po­lice nabbed 34 drinkdrivers, 13 drug- driv­ers, is­sued 873 in­fringe­ment no­tices and caught 253 peo­ple speed­ing, in­clud­ing one driver at 218km/ h be­tween Giru and Ayr.

Townsville Road Polic­ing Unit of­fi­cer- in- charge Se­nior Sergeant Bren­dan White said there was no great shock in the num­ber of drug- driv­ers from the week­end.

“It is fairly nor­mal, with the road side drug test­ing unit com­ing up from Bris­bane, that’s all they tar­get, drugs. I would con­sider those num­bers nor­mal with a crowd of 142,000,” he said.

“Drug driv­ers are in­creas­ing, but that could be be­cause they are be­ing tar­geted. We don’t have that ran­dom as­pect as much yet.”

Sen- Sgt White said it seemed as though there was not quite the same stigma about drug- driv­ing as there was about drink- driv­ing.

“It’s con­sid­ered unso­cia­ble to be a drink- driver. I don’t think it has got there yet with drug- driv­ing,” he said.

“It took a few years for ev­ery­one to get that mind­set about drink- driv­ing, to count their drinks and do the right thing, which most peo­ple try to do.

“I think drug- driv­ers, be­cause they got away with it for many years, have now re­alised they aren’t get­ting away with it.”

Sen- Sgt White said two fa­tal crashes at the start of the break were sad, but said there was only so much po­lice could do to pre­vent them.

“Un­for­tu­nately you can’t sit in with peo­ple and watch them while they drive and some are just pure ac­ci­dents, but some are caused by peo­ple’s inat­ten­tion,” he said.

Sen- Sgt White re­minded the com­mu­nity school had re­turned and 40km/ h school zones were ac­tive.

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