THANK YOU FOR DRIVING SAFELY
Police hail motorists’ behaviour over Christmas period
CAMPASPE Highway Patrol is praising motorists for their behaviour on the district’s roads during the Operation Roadwise period.
Throughout the road safe operation which ran from December 14 until January 6 there were no serious injuries as a result of a collision.
Campaspe Highway Patrol officer in charge Paul Nicoll said despite the roads swelling with tourist traffic, drivers weren’t taking risks on the road. ‘‘We’re very pleased with the result considering so many people were on the roads,’’ Sgt Nicoll said.
A total of 1593 breath tests were conducted resulting in about 10 drinkdriving offences and on the roads there were 154 traffic offences.
‘‘Those (traffic offences) are just things such as speeding, driving unlicensed or unregistered and that number is on average with other times,’’ Sgt Nicoll said.
‘‘Each time the highway patrol vehicle goes out, they usually have seven or eight offences a day — and then the single-person patrols will have some too, so 154 is on average.’’
However a more concerning statistic is one which can’t be quantified for another three or so months.
‘‘We’re finding a lot more drivers under the influence of drugs rather than drink-driving,’’ Sgt Nicoll said. ‘‘The statistics are skewed because the results for drug tests take three-to-four months to return from testing in Melbourne.’’
Sgt Nicoll said while drug tests aren’t as instantaneous as blowing into a breathalyser, it is rare for a roadside drug test to return positive and then further testing to come back negative.
Despite this, officers cannot count the preliminary test in their initial statistics. He also said there is an increasing amount of drug drivers.
‘‘However I believe that’s reflected state-wide — there has been a change in attitude toward drink-driving. A lot of people just don’t risk it now,’’ Sgt Nicoll said.
With more people testing positive to prohibited substances, Sgt Nicoll said he hopes drivers will recognise the risk of driving under the influence of drugs is just as bad as drink-driving.
Despite the pending results, Sgt Nicoll said police were pleased with drivers. ‘‘We’re pleased and grateful that there were no serious injuries on the roads and we hope that trend continues well into 2019,’’ he said.