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Rise in motorists evading police


AWimmera police leader is reminding the community of the serious consequenc­es of evading or driving off from police.

Superinten­dent Sharon Mccrory said there were increasing cases of people driving off from police who were attempting to pull them over.

“I want to remind people that when we intercept them, when we have our lights and sirens on, it’s a clear indication they are meant to pull over,” she said.

“If they choose to drive off, and often people drive off at high speed and erraticall­y, it is an offence.

“We will do all we can to investigat­e and find out who was driving the vehicle and take them to court.

“The penalties for driving a motor vehicle when directed to stop are, for a first offence, up to six months imprisonme­nt, a $16,000 fine, or both, and then it pretty much doubles for second offences.”

Superinten­dent Mccrory said there was a dedicated team, including detectives, that would follow up instances of people driving off from police.

“I think there is a perception among some of our community that they can drive off and that will be the end of it,” she said.

“Well, it won’t be the end of it – we certainly follow up.

“We will look at CCTV, visit the registered owner of the car and make a demand on them to provide informatio­n about the driver. We will speak to people in the vicinity, and we will do all we can to track the driver down.

“The message is, if you are directed to stop, you must stop.”

Operation Roadwise

Superinten­dent Mccrory said people were reasonably well-behaved on Wimmera roads throughout the festive period, with no major collisions.

Victoria Police ran Operation Roadwise between December 15 and January

1, detecting more than 19,000 offences.

Police conducted 310,146 preliminar­y breath tests, which detected 668 drink-driving offences, and 8944 roadside drug tests, which detected 535 drug-driving offences.

More than a third of offences related to speeding, with 5854 motorists caught travelling between 10 and 25kmh more than the speed limit.

Superinten­dent Mccrory said Wimmera police detected some drivers doing high speeds throughout the operation.

“We also had quite a few drink drivers and a number of those were on restricted conditions – ‘P’ platers with alcohol in their system,” she said.

“It’s concerning to see people flouting our drink-driving laws and thinking they can make it home safely.

“It’s not just that, it is an offence, it is a safety risk.

“Those who want to drink and then hop behind the wheel are putting themselves, their passengers and everyone else on the road in jeopardy, so they need to think about that before they do it.

“If you’re going to be drinking, you need to have a plan to get home because it’s not worth even thinking am I or aren’t I over?”

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