Police launch holiday road blitz

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian

Police will target hoons, reckless drivers, unroadworthy vehicles, and impaired drivers in a Christmas road blitz.

Mid West-Gascoyne District Police launched the traffic campaign on Monday to try to stop deaths on the road over the holiday season.

District traffic co-ordinator Sgt Peter Gerada said the safety of road users was the ultimate goal.

“I want this district to get through this holiday period without any fatal crashes — that would make me a happy man,” he said.

The campaign will run until January 31.

Sgt Gerada said impaired driving did not just apply to alcohol and illicit drugs but also included certain prescription medications taken excessively or contrary to directions.

He said there were 23,000 breath testing straws at Geraldton Police Station waiting to be used.

Police will be issuing double demerit points for a range of traffic offences between December 22 and January 7. Those offences included speeding, seatbelt offences, low range drink-driving, ignoring traffic lights, and driving while using a mobile phone.

Sgt Gerada said many drivers did not understand the laws about using mobile phones in cars.

“Legislation says that you need to get off the road and be stationary if you are talking on a phone. Even if you are on the verge, you will get a ticket,” he said.

The Christmas traffic campaign also coincides with Mid West-Gascoyne District Police’s summer crime strategy.

Sgt Gerada said marked and unmarked traffic cars would be targeting known crime hotspots.

“When in those targeted areas, we will be stopping everything that moves, so any motorist in the area can expect to be stopped,” he said.

“We will be proactively targeting highways, including Brand Highway, Indian Ocean Drive, Geraldton Mount Magnet Road and North West Coastal Highway, and our traffic cars will be patrolling all the way to Shark Bay.

“We will also be proactively targeting people we know from previous intelligence have been stopped for impaired driving.”

Sgt Gerada also reminded motorists of new safe-distance laws when overtaking bicycles.

Under the laws, failure to keep a safe distance would result in a $400 fine and four demerit points.

“Bike riders and drivers need to understand that they must start sharing the road,” Sgt Gerada said.

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