2 cops, 1 hour, 20 charges

KYABRAM MAN CRIT­I­CAL AF­TER BAD SMASH NEAR GUNBOWER

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

‘ It’s some­thing that we’re al­ways on top of, in par­tic­u­lar the use of mo­bile phones is very con­cern­ing and dis­tracted driv­ers on the road are a big con­tribut­ing fac­tor to our road toll and we’re us­ing these bikes to com­bat that ’ in the area

IN JUST one shift, two mo­tor­cy­cle cops have de­tected more than 20 driv­ing of­fences in Echuca.

Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­bles Paul McCracken and Bruce Slim­mon, of Echuca and Bendigo po­lice re­spec­tively, have teamed up to work so­los in the Cam­paspe re­gion as a proac­tive ini­tia­tive to re­duce road trauma in cars and mo­tor­bikes.

And on Tues­day, they de­tected 22 of­fences re­lat­ing to mo­bile phones, seat­belts and bi­cy­cles and charged one drug driver.

‘‘It’s con­cern­ing,’’ Snr Con­sta­ble McCracken said.

‘‘It’s some­thing that we’re al­ways on top of, in par­tic­u­lar the use of mo­bile phones is very con­cern­ing and dis­tracted driv­ers on the road are a big con­tribut­ing fac­tor to our road toll and we’re us­ing these bikes to com­bat that in the area.’’

Over the next few weeks, the of­fi­cers will be fo­cus­ing on ve­hi­cle and mo­tor­bike safety, tar­get­ing dis­trac­tion and safety of­fences, in­clud­ing us­ing mo­bile phones while driv­ing and wait­ing at traf­fic lights and not wear­ing seat­belts, as well as drunk and drug driv­ing.

With their in­creased pres­ence around town, Snr Con­sta­ble McCracken had a mes­sage for mo­torists. ‘‘Just do the right thing,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll be out and about for at least the next two to three weeks, tar­get­ing those spe­cific of­fences so don’t be sur­prised if you get caught.

‘‘Mo­torists should be do­ing this all the time, not just when we’re around. Gen­er­ally peo­ple need to be aware of their safety in re­la­tion to mo­bile phones and seat­belts.’’ ■ A 25-YEAR-OLD Kyabram man has been flown to Royal Melbourne Hospi­tal in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion af­ter the ute he was driv­ing col­lided head-on with a bus on Fri­day af­ter­noon. Po­lice said the V/Line bus, go­ing from Mil­dura to Al­bury, was 2km from Gunbower, on the Echuca side, when the col­li­sion oc­curred on the Mur­ray Val­ley Hwy just af­ter 3pm. They said it ap­peared the ute had crossed to the wrong side of the road for rea­sons un­known but the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cause of the ac­ci­dent was still be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. “The driver was con­scious when emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived but he had ex­ten­sive head, ch­est, arm and leg in­juries and was go­ing into surgery soon af­ter ar­riv­ing in Melbourne,” the spokesman said. The bus driver, a 65-year-old Moama man, was badly shaken but nei­ther he nor his five pas­sen­gers were in­jured.

Po­lice had to wait for heavy haulage equip­ment to ar­rive and re­move the bus. The ute was de­stroyed in the col­li­sion.

Po­lice said it was a hor­rific scene and amaz­ing ev­ery­one on the bus es­caped with­out in­jury.

Po­lice are ap­peal­ing for any wit­nesses to the crash or any­one who has in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent.

They can phone Echuca po­lice on 5483 1500 or Crimestopp­pers on 1800 333 000.

ON THE LOOK­OUT: Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­bles Paul McCracken and Bruce Slim­mon, of Echuca and Bendigo po­lice re­spec­tively, have teamed up to work shifts on mo­tor­bikes in the Cam­paspe re­gion.

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