An increased police presence on major roads in the Yass Valley over the past two weeks has not deterred some drivers from risky road behaviours.
Fifty-three infringement notices were issued in the first 10 days of the ‘Stop it… Or cop it’ operation targeting speeding on the Barton Highway, Lachlan Valley Way and Burley Griffin Way, over February 1-15.
Thirty-five notices were issued for speeding and 18 were for other traffic offences, such as unregistered vehicles or drivers not complying with licence conditions, said local Highway Patrol Sergeant Stephen Pidgeon.
The highest speed detected was 143 kilometres per hour while overtaking in a 100km/h zone on the Barton Highway, Sergeant Pidgeon said.
The driver was fined $903 and issued five demerit points for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h.
Speeding is one of the top traffic issues in the Yass Valley, and the number of speeding infringements in the first 10 days of the operation was similar to the number usually issued outside of the operation, Sergeant Pidgeon said.
“Averaged over the 10 days so far, it shows that most drivers are doing the right thing,” Sergeant Pidgeon said.
“But despite the publicity for the operation, the variable message boards on the roadside and the visible police presence, there is still a small number who are not heeding the warnings about the increased risk that comes with exceeding the speed limit,” he said.
“The small amount of time you might save on your trip is simply not worth the increased risk to yourself, your passengers and other road users,” Sergeant Pidgeon said.
Thirty-four percent of all crashes in the Yass Valley are attributed to speed, according to Yass Valley Council, and five people died in the area in 2018; a record since 2011.
Across the state, 46 lives have been lost this year.
The latest research by the NSW Centre for Road Safety indicates that speeding even a few kilometres per hour over the posted limit significantly increases the risk of serious crashes to drivers and vehicle occupants.
Police also stopped 170 vehicles for mobile traffic stops and/or mobile random breath testing (RBT) and 780 vehicles for stationary RBT in the 10 days.