Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Driving Easter frustratio­n

- sdouthie@nemedia.com.au BYSHANE DOUTHIE

THE failure of motorists over the Easter weekend to adhere to warnings has disappoint­ed local police.

Divisional Road Policing Senior Sergeant Darren Wittingslo­w said local results from Operation Nexus, which was conducted on roads statewide from Thursday until Monday, indicated drivers were still prepared to put themselves and others at risk.

“We detected 434 offences in the five days across the local government areas of Wangaratta, Indigo, Alpine, Moira and Wodonga with 28 of those drug or alcohol related,” he said.

“It’s disappoint­ing that so many drivers decided to get behind the wheel while alcohol and drug affected.

“But the results show that if you do decide to take the risk you will be caught and prosecuted.”

Snr Sgt Wittingslo­w said the majority of the offences were related to speeding despite the heavy traffic on the arterial roads over the five days.

There were also numerous licence and registrati­on offences reported.

“Nothing astonishes me now after so many years watching this sort of behaviour,” Snr Sgt Wittingslo­w said.

“It’s the busiest time on the roads for the year, the traffic was horrendous and we had some motorists caught driving at more than 150kmh.

“The good news from the weekend, however, was the low number of road trauma incidents with only two collisions reported, both of them on dirt roads.

“Considerin­g the volume of traffic on the arterial roads that was very pleasing.”

Snr Sgt Wittingslo­w said one incident involved a vehicle leaving the road and striking a tree on Booth Road, Wangandary on Saturday at 11am.

The driver was transporte­d to Wangaratta hospital and was in a serious but not lifethreat­ening condition.

Snr Sgt Wittingslo­w said police would continue to be out in heavy force over the next two weeks during the school holiday period.

“We need all motorists to pay special attention on the roads in this period, particular­ly around towns where there will be an increase in the number of children using the roads,” he said.

“And remember, if you do see emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the side of a road, highway or freeway; make sure you slow to 40kmh to make it safer for everyone concerned.”

Statewide, Operation Nexus nabbed 550 drink and drug drivers with a further 4119 motorists caught speeding and 352 people detected using their mobile phones.

A motorcycle rider died on Saturday afternoon in Marysville after his motorcycle and a car collided just before 3pm.

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