Double demerits a deterrent

Senior Constable Paul Kay. Picture: Marie Nirme d418182
Senior Constable Paul Kay. Picture: Marie Nirme d418182

Operation Crossroads is running over the April school holidays, including the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends, with local traffic police focusing on driver awareness and journey planning.

Police will increase their presence on local roads this weekend in particular, and Traffic Acting Senior Sergeant Geoff Daniels said motorists needed to have a better awareness of their surroundings and vulnerable road users.

‘The most recent spate of crashes have been a result of risk taking,’ he said.

There have been two recent road fatalities in the area involving a motorcyclist and a cyclist.

‘(Drivers) definitely need to exercise patience and be aware of other road users when assessing the risks they take on the road, and then make decisions based on safety and patience,’ he said.

The Easter break typically represents a busier time on the roads, especially locally as the area is an ingress route for travellers and holidaymakers heading south for the weekend.

‘There are going to be more people on the roads and they will have had further to travel to access local roads and that can lead to inattention and be a serious factor for crashes,’ Sgt Daniels said.

Double demerits begin from midnight Wednesday night and run until midnight Monday, with the penalties applying to motorists using mobile phones while driving for the first time.

Sgt Daniels said he was interested to see what figures the weekend would bring regarding mobile phone use, especially with the offence carrying a heavier penalty.

‘This is the first time we’ll be able to find out the figures for mobile use on a long weekend and I’m keen to find out if there will be a marked reduction,’ he said.

‘I think the fear of losing six demerit points may be a strong deterrent to mobile use.’