Ninety-six driving offences detected in Shepparton long weekend road blitz

Crackdown: Ninety-six driving offences were detected in Greater Shepparton during a four-day police road safety operation. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

Ninety-six driving offences, including six drink or drug drivers, were detected in City of Greater Shepparton as part of a four-day police operation during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

They were among 300 offences, including 22 drink or drug drivers, detected in Victoria Police’s Eastern Region Division Three, during Operation Regal from 12.01am on Friday, June 10, to 11.59pm on Monday, June 13.

The region takes in Shepparton, Benalla, Seymour, Wallan and Mansfield policing areas.

In Greater Shepparton, the six drink or drug drivers were detected from 1268 preliminary breath tests carried out by police.

Eastern Region Division Three Acting Senior Sergeant Tom Brown said of the 96 offences detected in Shepparton, the majority were speeding-related.

However, he said two unregistered vehicles were also detected, as well as two unroadworthy ones.

An unaccompanied L-plate driver was also detected by police after they ran a red light in the Shepparton central business district.

The driver was charged with driving without an experienced driver, failing to display L-plates and failing to stop at a red light.

One person was also arrested on an outstanding warrant during the road blitz.

“All in all it was a fairly good effort by the Shepparton Highway Patrol and uniform police,” Sen Sgt Brown said.

The 22 drivers who were caught came from 4378 preliminary breath tests conducted by police over the four days of the operation.

Sen Sgt Brown said 300 offences — including speeding, mobile phone use and people not wearing seatbelts — were detected throughout the region during Operation Regal.

He said police were pleased with the courtesy shown by motorists, with only two serious injury collisions and no fatal accidents in the region.

He said he was generally pleased with the driving across the division.

Of the speeding offences that were detected, Sen Sgt Brown said there were not any significant ones.

While 22 drink or drug drivers were detected, Sen Sgt Brown said the figures were not “too alarming”.

“We figured we’d get some numbers like that,” he said.

However, he was concerned that people were not heeding the message not to drink or drug drive.

“It (22 people caught) tells me they’re still out there, which is a concern,” he said.

“If you take the risk to take drugs and drive, we will catch you.”

With school holidays coming up soon, Sen Sgt Brown urged people to start checks on their vehicles now — making sure their tyres were in good condition and their brakes were working correctly.

He also urged those with caravans to unsure they were following weight requirements for their van.

Sen Sgt Brown said drivers should ensure they didn’t go over their gross weight for their van, which is the weight of the van and all of the belongings in it.

“If you overload, it’s an offence, but more importantly you are putting yours and your family’s safety at risk,” Sen Sgt Brown said.

“It (overloading) is not hard to do by the time you put in food, clothes and pots and pans, but you need to keep an eye on it.”