2 cops, 1 hour, 20 charges
KYABRAM MAN CRITICAL AFTER BAD SMASH NEAR GUNBOWER
‘ 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.