Police plea for road safety

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Great Southern traffic police will bolster their presence during the most dangerous time on the roads at Easter, with confirmation specialist traffic enforcement group officers will join the effort to prevent a rising road toll.

Additional police resources in the form of traffic enforcement group officers from Perth as well as a booze bus will enter the region as part of a highly visible approach over the four-day break.

Two people have died on Great Southern roads this year compared with 13 at the same time in 2016.

The Albany Advertiser joined traffic police on the road on the eve of the double demerit period.

Great Southern police district Superintendent Dominic Wood said the officers from Perth would complement traffic patrols from the region’s officers who were committed to keeping the roads including major highways safe.

“We will have a lot of extra patrols, a lot of extra police cars coming down from Perth to support us, there will be booze buses,” he said.

“My message to the travelling public this Easter is there will be a lot of police cars on the road and we don’t want you to get tickets for not wearing a seatbelt, using your mobile phone or speeding.”

Supt Wood said it was up to passengers to make sure their driver was abiding by the law and not risking lives by using mobile phones or speeding. He reminded motorists that failing to wear a seatbelt would attract a $550 fine and using a mobile phone would result in a $400 fine.

“We had a dreadful year on our roads last year, we want people to stay safe, we want people to take breaks,” he said. “The biggest problem we had last year was fatigue and inattention, so people need to make sure they are fit for the journey and not take one big, long drive. We will do everything we can but there is only so much police can do, it really is up to the travelling public to make sure they are fit for their journey.”

Police in the Great Southern last year breath tested 10,401 drivers with six charged with drink driving offences over the long weekend. A total of 578 random drug tests were also conducted and 117 motorists were caught speeding

The annual Easter Fatigue Roadstop will be undertaken on Albany Highway just outside of Albany on Thursday.

Double demerits apply from midnight Wednesday until Monday.

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