BLITZ: Officer in Charge of the Eidsvold police station Sergeant Chris James said roadside drug tests are getting cheaper and will soon be conducted at random.
BLITZ: Officer in Charge of the Eidsvold police station Sergeant Chris James said roadside drug tests are getting cheaper and will soon be conducted at random. Philippe Coquerand

Police crackdown uncovers disturbing trend on our roads

A ROADSIDE testing blitz carried out on the Burnett Highway last week has identified a worrying trend.

The five-day crackdown on the North Burnett's roads ran from July 19-23 in conjunction with Operation Cold Snap.

With the assistance of the Bundaberg Roadside Policing Unit and State Drug Testing, officers from Eidsvold, Monto and Mundubbera conducted 425 roadside breath tests and issued 37 traffic infringement notices.

While police were happy to report no motorists were caught drink driving, Eidsvold Police Sergeant Chris James said it was clear another message was not getting through.

Six drivers tested positive to driving under the influence of drugs, including two caught while behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle.

Sergeant James said he expected the number of motorists caught drug driving would continue to rise as roadside drug testing became cheaper and easier to administer.

"We're drug testing more and more often," Sgt James said.

"It took a while for the fact you can be random breath tested anywhere, any time to catch on.

"The same thing goes for drug testing now and people will start to get the message."

According to police, over the last five years, drugs and alcohol were found to have been a contributing factor in more than 30 percent of fatal accidents in the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Police will continue to conduct regular traffic operations to curb the dangerous behaviour of rogue truckies and drug-affected drivers.

"Obviously a heavy vehicle accident is going to cause a lot more damage than someone driving a sedan," Sgt James said.

"The fact that two of the six positive drugs tests were recorded by prime movers is a concern."



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