POLICE have taken 1700 drink or drug-affected drivers off Victoria streets in the first phase of its summer road enforcement campaign.
The Herald Sun reports that Operation RAID – Remove All Impaired Drivers – detected more than 36,500 traffic offences during the past three weeks, 3000 more than in the same period last year.
Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said he was astounded.
“It just astounds me that despite the research, despite the education, despite the heartache, people are still willing to risk their lives on the road,” Mr Hill said.
“I look at incidents like the terrible collision that claimed five lives in Lara over the weekend and wonder what more we as police could have done?”
“But it’s not just up to the police. Everyone needs to play their part and show some responsibility – drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike,” he added.
One driver, a 58-year-old Yarrawonga man, was seen talking on a mobile phone and holding a can of beer while unsuccessfully trying to steer his Holden ute along the Murray Valley Highway in Cobram East last Thursday.
“The incident occurred at the same location where two days prior, a 20-year-old Mulwala woman was killed after her vehicle collided with a tree,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Cath Allen said.
One disqualified motorist was caught with drugs in his system in the same location in Bittern and same operation as he had the year before.
And five drug drivers were detected in the Mornington Peninsula area all on Saturday night.
“Over the last three weeks during this operation, we’ve breath tested 671,863 motorists and drug tested a further 1580 motorists,” Mr Hill said.
"We’ve had more police on the road than ever, working around the clock to deter and take these risk-takers off our roads.
“My challenge to all road users, two weeks out from Christmas, is stay safe or stay off the road this summer,” he added.
The operation detected:
• 1580 drink driving offences
• 196 drug driving offences
• 1092 disqualified/suspended drivers
• 1542 unlicensed drivers
• 3191 unregistered vehicles
• 10,819 speeding offences
• 3152 mobile phone offences
• 2576 disobey signs/signals
• 262 impoundments
Read more at heraldsun.com.au