Constables Simone Shearer and Craig Woodman random breath test a driver on Duke Street.
Constables Simone Shearer and Craig Woodman random breath test a driver on Duke Street. Renee Pilcher

Boozy, drug drivers beware

IF you are driving in the Gympie region this weekend, expect to be pulled over.

For the first time in history, all Federal, State and Territory police agencies will join with New Zealand Police to embark on a co-ordinated Australia and New Zealand operation to target road users in the lead up to Christmas.

Codenamed Operation RAID, its aim is to make Australia and New Zealand's roads safer this Christmas by removing and deterring alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

Officer in Charge of the Gympie district Traffic Branch Sergeant Peter Webster said the operation started yesterday and would run with Gympie police through to the end of Sunday.

“Anything that focuses on the causes of fatal and serious crashes is good,” he said.

Sgt Webster said the operation was a precursor to the Gympie region's annual Christmas blitz due to start early next month. He said alcohol and drugs were major contributors to increases in road trauma and improved driver behaviour would save lives.

Operation RAID 2010 will focus on increasing driver awareness and journey planning and will see police deployed in highly visible operations targeting drug and alcohol impaired drivers.

“Alcohol is consistently in the top three causes of road trauma, along with speeding and failing to wear seatbelts,” he said.

Police strategies will include an increase in random breath and drug testing to positively influence driver behaviour.

Operation RAID will involve saturating targeted locations and no motorist will be exempt from the operation.

Road users are encouraged to make alternative transport arrangements such as nominating a designated driver or using public transport or taxis when alcohol has been consumed.

Sgt Webster also urged drivers to service their vehicles and check tyres before heading on holidays.

Gympie Times


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