WA Police target mobile phone use on Mitchell Freeway from long range

WA Police target mobile phone use on Mitchell Freeway from long range

THERE was no police car around, so how did officers catch me using my mobile phone?

It is a question a number of drivers were likely asking themselves on the Mitchell Freeway this morning.

Traffic officers were stationed at Whitfords Train Station with the WA Police long-range camera, known as the Ranger, which can spot drivers up to 700m away using their phone or not wearing a seatbelt.

When the camera operators spotted an offender, they alerted police motorcycle riders below who pursued the person of interest.

In the wake of an alarming run of road fatalities over the past few months, Acting Inspector Sandro Di Prinzio said police were intensifying their focus on distracted and careless drivers.

They will be looking to use the Ranger at least once a month in each metro district.

While some drivers would receive a fine in the mail, Insp Di Prinzio said the aim was to stop them at the scene.

“We’ll endeavour to stop the person because we don’t want them to continue that behaviour,” he said.

“We want the public to know that we have these capabilities in order to address those offences that are one of the primary causes to crashes.

“Drivers should be aware that we are watching them. They might not see us but we’ll see them.”

Motorists can expect a strong police presence on local roads from next Wednesday to Saturday, with a particular focus on Australia Day.

Insp Di Prinzio said resources would be “targeting those behaviours that cause serious and fatal crashes”, such as mobile phone use.

“There’s no time you should be relaxing (when driving car), you should always be aware and careful,” he said.

“It’s to reinforce to the local community that we’re out there to look after their safety.”