11,000 caught speeding
MORE than 11,000 Gladstone motorists ignored the "Speed Kills'' message during 2004.
According to Central Police Region traffic coordinator Inspector Dennis Smith, almost 2000 more speeding offences were recorded in the Gladstone region last year, compared to 2003.
Insp Smith said while speed was a major worry, the behaviour of young drivers also warranted concern.
"When you're out on the road you notice the general speed has dropped off dramatically since the introduction of speed cameras, and the core group of motorists is taking notice of this, but there are still some people out there who don't seem to care and are prepared to take the risk,'' he said.
He said those aged from 17 to 25 were generally the highest represented group in traffic-related offences.
"Younger groups tend to have the least experience and particularly males in that age group are the biggest risk-takers, lacking common sense and experience,'' he said.
Insp Smith said young people also represented a substantial portion of those injured in traffic accidents.
"For the 17 to 24 age group, during the first six months of 2004, 23 males were injured and 21 females,'' he said.
This compared with the next biggest representation, 30 to 39-year-olds, in which 10 males and six females were injured.
Insp Smith said police would continue to concentrate on catching speeding offenders.
"Last year officers put in 700 hours more than the previous year, which means that they were more likely to catch more offenders,'' he said.
However Insp Smith said some positive results were achieved. Police recorded a marginal decrease in the number of drink drivers from 531 in 2003 to 522 in 2004.
There were three fatalities on Gladstone roads in 2004 compared to 10 in 2003.