Police target five driving offences this holiday season


police speedFED up police officers are cracking down on the five common and potentially fatal offences drivers are committing on our roads.

Furious police have slammed “irresponsible drivers” who’ve helped boost the horrific road toll to alarming levels amid warnings the safety message is failing to hit home.

Superintendent David Johnson, of Queensland’s Road Policing Command, said police would be targeting drivers who commit the fatal five offences — speeding, drink and drug driving, distraction, fatigue and seat belts — this holiday season.

Supt Johnson told news.com.au that too many lives have been lost on our roads by the actions of “irresponsible” drivers who fail to think about themselves or others.

“One in five road fatalities in 2017 involved a speeding driver,” Supt Johnson said.

“One in four road fatalities involved a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“The tragedy is all of these could have been avoided. It’s alarming and concerning for us.”

Supt Johnson said it was tragic for those who died and their families but was also traumatic for emergency service crews who were called to the scenes of the fatalities.

Queensland’s road toll stands at 246 so far this year with 22 killed in December alone.

Supt Johnson pointed to the thousands of fines issued to drivers this month as evidence motorists were simply not listening to police.

He also wanted police would be out in full force in a series of targeted traffic operations on roads and highways in key high-risk areas.

The state’s 50-day Christmas Road Safety Campaign which started on December 8 will finish up on January 25.

Since the beginning of the campaign until midnight on the 28th, QLD police have recorded a staggering 9692 speeding offences, issued 526 seat belt fines and caught 763 drivers using their mobile phones.

Some 971 drivers have also been caught drink driving.

In one case, police caught a driver who was allegedly doing 201km in 100km/h zone on the Pacific Motorway at Slacks Creek on Wednesday.

Supt Johnson said he remained puzzled as to why people continued to get behind the wheel knowing they had been drinking, were tired or likely to use a phone while driving.

He said police didn’t want to be attending fatal accidents at any time of the year let alone during the festive season.

“We’re asking people to have a plan B and if you’re going to use the road during the party season have an alternative method for getting home,” he said.

His sentiments have been echoed by police in other states also grappling with shocking road tolls.

NSW Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy also said road users needed to listen to police.

“Tragically, when a bad decision is made by a driver or rider, it is not only that person that is put at risk, they are usually putting their own passengers and all other road users at risk of getting involved in a fatal crash,” he said in a statement.

“We are past the point of being disappointed. We are now angry that drivers are not listening to our warnings.”

Assistant Commissioner Corboy said the recent road deaths had been traumatic to everyone involved.

“Especially [as] NSW and Victoria have now both had, in the last week, multiple fatalities where people have been incinerated. That is particularly devastating, not only to families but to the officers and emergency services who attend those scenes,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Corboy said speeding, drink driving and fatigue were some of the biggest contributors in fatal crashes.

“Especially in country or regional areas and when we see a combination of any two of these factors, we have a disaster waiting to happen,” he said.