Queensland Police sting 3300 dangerous drivers in two-week crackdown

Posted on July 11, 2024Comments Off on Queensland Police sting 3300 dangerous drivers in two-week crackdown

Queensland’s Operation Cold Snap has wrapped up after two weeks with more than 3300 motorists fined, 27,000 breath tests, and 1600 drug tests conducted.

From June 22 to July 8, police saturated Queensland’s local roadways to enforce and encourage safe driving during the school holiday period.

It came as road deaths in the state as of July 7 hit 150, up from 134 to the same point last year.

The two-week road safety blitz included roadside breath tests (RBT), roadside drug tests (RDT), stationary observation, as well as overt and covert patrols along highways and major road corridors.

By July 4, Queensland police conducted 27,923 RBTs, 1683 RDTs, charged 450 drivers with drink driving, 360 drivers with drug driving, issued speeding fines to 2314 drivers, and a further 187 fines for seat belt offences.

Police have not published full results at the conclusion of the operation, though details are available for two regions in Queensland’s south east.

As part of Operation Cold Snap, Sunshine Coast police issued more than 280 fines and breath tested 1300 drivers.

Of the fines, 85 were for speeding, 10 for mobile phone use, and one for not wearing a seat belt. In the 1300 breath tests, police found 23 drink drivers and 10 drug drivers, representing about 2.5 per cent of motorists subjected to the tests.

One person died in a fatal traffic crash on the Sunshine Coast during the period of the operation, bringing the district’s total road fatalities for this year as of July 8 to four. There were also 22 people injured across 20 crashes.

Sunshine Coast Highway Patrol officer in charge, senior sergeant Shane Panoho, says every life lost on the road is a tragedy, and police will continue to monitor roads as school returns.

“As expected, we saw a significant increase in traffic volumes across our roads over the school holidays, and through Operation Cold Snap, police were able to educate and enforce road safety,” he said.

“Police took opportunities to have conversations with drivers to further educate about the proven causes of traffic crashes including speed, impaired driving, fatigue, seat belt use, driver distraction and vehicle safety standards.”

Meanwhile, police in the Wide Bay Burnett region – which encompasses Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Gympie and Kingaroy – issued more than 505 fines as part of the operation, while also breath testing more than 6390 motorists.

The fines included 225 for speeding, five for mobile phone use, and five for not wearing a seat belt. Breath testing revealed 46 drink drivers and 33 drug drivers.

Like the Sunshine Coast, one person died in a traffic crash in the region during Operation Cold Snap, in addition to 56 people injured in 45 crashes. As of July 8, the region’s road toll for this year now sits at 14.

During the operation, a man was recorded travelling at 142km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Old Bruce Highway in Tuchekoi.

After being pulled over, police found he was driving on a suspended driver’s licence, his car had bald tyres, and he blew 0.070 BAC in a breath test.

Operation Cold Snap also extended to Queensland’s beaches, with high-visibility patrols conducted on K’gari, formerly Fraser Island. Police focused on driver education, and targeted drivers who may be drinking on the barge before arriving on the island.

A 37-year-old Elanora man recorded a breath test reading of 0.063 BAC and was issued a notice to appear in court. He was due to appear in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on July 10.

A 26-year-old Glass House Mountains man received a fine for “exceed speed limit in speed zone by at least 11km/h but not more than 20km/h”, worth $464.

MORE: Australia records highest road toll in over a decade