Holiday road blitz to begin

POLICE are putting drivers in the Gympie area on notice with a large local traffic enforcement operation due to begin today.

Operation Cold Snap will continue until the end of the holidays and aims to reduce crash-related injuries and deaths on our roads by targeting the fatal four killers — speeding, driving drunk, driving without wearing a seatbelt and fatigue.

Officer in Charge of Gympie District Traffic Branch Sergeant Peter Webster said the aim of the operation was to reduce road trauma in the Gympie area by saturating specific areas with a large number of police to promote road safety strategies.

He said there would be a highly visible police presence on the Bruce Highway and major arterials to deter dangerous driving behaviour, including failure to fasten seatbelts, use of mobile phones, speeding and lapses in concentration.

“Gympie police are urging motorists to simply take more care by leaving a greater gap between cars, wear their seatbelts and avoid distractions such as mobile phones,” Sgt Webster said.

More than a dozen motorists were fined and three charged during a traffic blitz in Gympie on Monday and Tuesday. The two-day operation run by the Gympie District Traffic Branch, involved the Roadside Drug Testing Unit and the State Traffic Task Force in marked and unmarked vehicles.

About 1000 motorists were stopped for random breath tests and from the 244 breathalysed by Gympie Traffic Branch, not one had a positive reading.

“It was a positive that there were no drink drivers out of the 244 tests we conducted and there was only one drug driver detected, which is around about the state average — one in 52,” Sgt Webster said.

Police were also checking vehicle registrations and drivers licences and a couple of vehicles were impounded for 48 hours for repeat unlicensed offences.

Thirteen infringement notices were issued for a variety of offences including defective vehicles, fail to wear a seatbelt and registration offences.

“It’s disappointing to see people still driving without seatbelts, without licenses and in unregistered vehicles.

“Our continual holiday operation commences today involving the Traffic Branch and general duties police officers.”

Sgt Webster issued a warning to all illicit drug users about ongoing traffic operations involving the mobile drug testing unit.

“If they choose to drive after using illicit drugs they will be detected,” he said and added that the drug testing unit could be anywhere at anytime.

The unit was moved to various locations at the beginning of the week, and conducted testing from Brisbane Road, the Bruce Highway at Monkland and on Mary Valley Road near Attie Sullivan Park.

“Be careful in the wet weather and drive to road conditions,” Sgt Webster warned about the holidays ahead.

“If planning on going away, spend this week checking the car, especially the air pressure on the tyres.

“People forget to check their tyres and low pressure can affect the handling of a vehicle’s, braking, cornering and acceleration, and at worst a blow out can cause a crash.”

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