High-tech crackdown on traffic offenders

MOTORISTS are on notice from Tasmania Police that new high-tech patrol cars, drones and one of the nation’s highest percentage of traffic officers on the road, means drivers who break the law will be caught. And they are calling on anyone who sees bad behaviour to lodge information and footage on a new portal to gather evidence of offending behaviour.

Last Thursday, police launched their new highway patrol vehicles, adding to the range of high-visibility resources available for the new Road Policing Services unit. Road Policing Services under its new structure and dedicated traffic focus commenced on July 4, which means there are now 68 police officers solely dedicated to road policing across Tasmania.

Inspector Gary Williams has commenced in the brand-new role of State Road Safety Coordinator. “This new structure means we now have one of the highest ratios of traffic police in the country, and we want to do whatever we can to stop people dying in crashes on our roads,” he said. “We’re throwing everything we can at making our roads safer, including these brand-new highway patrol vehicles, and we’re using other resources like drones and our community evidence portal to help us track down traffic offenders.

“With 36 deaths on our roads this year, now more than ever we need the community’s support. “Talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to your children, about making the right choices on our roads and make it clear that none of us should be taking risks or thinking we’re above the rules. “We talk about the fatal five: seatbelts, drink and drug driving, speeding, fatigue, and inattention, because it’s these things that cause people to die in crashes. “Being ‘a good driver’ is irrelevant. It’s time for everyone to take road safety seriously.”

Police and Emergency Services Minister Felix Ellis said with 68 police officers solely dedicated to keeping roads safe, Tasmania now had one of the highest ratios of traffic police in Australia. “This means more police to crack down on dangerous drivers,’’ Mr Ellis said. “The police patrol vehicles will be equipped with advanced technology to catch speeding drivers and upgraded markings mean police will be an unmistakable presence on our streets. “They are specifically designed for high-speed interception.’’

The Government has also spent $860,000 on drone technology, with 30 drones operational to expose hoons and other dangerous drivers. “The drones have already resulted in prosecutions and have also been used to tackle dangerous driving in remote areas,’’ Mr Ellis said.