Central Victoria road blitz catches the careless

CENTRAL Victorian police detected more than 1800 traffic offences as part of Operation Raid.

The three-week operation, which was designed to target impaired drivers, wound up last month.

In that time, Operation Raid detected speeding drivers, people not wearing their seatbelts and people flouting the law by using their mobile phones while behind the wheel.

Senior Sergeant Paul Gardiner from Bendigo’s highway patrol said speed was always a cause for concern.

“During that period there were 88 people who lost their licence for speeding because they were more than 25km/h above the speed limit,” he said.

“I suppose the other disturbing part is that 67 people weren’t wearing seatbelts.

“And 77 were caught talking on their mobile phones.”

Senior Sergeant Gardiner said seatbelts saved lives and only took a few seconds to put on.

“I suspect a lot of it is people who have pulled out of somewhere, headed up the road and that’s when we caught them,” he said.

“But bad luck, they should have put it on when they first jumped in the car. Most other people do.”

Operation Raid ran from November 16 until December 9.

“Raid was about removing all impaired drivers and to that extent, 58 people were detected drink-driving,” Senior Sergeant Gardiner said.

“It was a three-week period so you’re looking at nearly 20 a week, which is a lot.

“Fortunately they were caught by us prior to them being able to do any great harm.

“But that’s bordering on being disturbing with all the campaigns and advertising and everything else going on. We make it quite clear we’ll be out there, we’ll be highly visible and we’re out there to catch drink-drivers.”

Senior Sergeant Gardiner urged drivers to remain vigilant.

“They’ve got to be very, very cautious in everything they do,” he said.

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