ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Traffic cops are now pleading with drivers to think before they act.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Traffic cops are now pleading with drivers to think before they act.

‘Recipe for fatality’: Learner driver caught at 160kmh

A LEARNER driver caught travelling at 160kmh on Chinchilla-Wondai Rd was a recipe for a potential quadruple fatality, according to Dalby traffic police.

Within three days of the school holidays starting, police caught clocked the teenage driver travelling 154kmh on Chinchilla-Wondai Rd, accompanied by three passengers including an open class licence supervisor.

It's a result that doesn't bode well for the rest of the holidays, but Dalby Road Policing Unit officer-in-charge sergeant Mark Woitowitz wants drivers and passengers to know that police will be waiting and watching all holidays and aren't going to let any poor behaviour slide.

On the first weekend of the school holidays between December 13 and December 15, RPU officers travelled more than 3000 kilometres throughout the southwest monitoring speeds, and conducting random breath and drug tests.

Police conducted 660 random breath tests in the southwest with only two positive detections.

Out of ten drug tests, however, six drug drivers were detected on the roads.

Officers also issued 41 traffic infringement notices.

The learner driver, however, was the most "alarming" detection.

"He's overtaken someone and he's still maintained that speed for a considerable time after overtaking that vehicle," sgt Woitowitz said.

"To have something like that, to not only be inexperienced on the roads we've got at the moment, travelling at 160kmh with three other occupants in his vehicle, that was just a recipe for a quadruple fatality."

The driver was charged for not displaying his learner plates and for his reckless driving. He was fined $1245 and disqualified from driving for six months.

In the last 12 months, the number of fatalities have dropped across Queensland, but the number of hospitalisations for crash-related injuries has increased by five per cent.

That's a number sgt Woitowitz wants to decrease, starting with the holiday period.

"We will be on the roads," he said.

"We'll be everywhere at all times, and we just really want motorists to make sure they're doing the right things on the road. And we want passengers as well to keep an eye on their drivers."

Sgt Woitowitz said the main causes of traffic crashes this year were inattention, drugs and alcohol, and speeding.

Inattention caused 36 per cent of hospitalisations, drugs and alcohol caused 30 per cent, and speeding caused 34 per cent.

While fatalities have dropped, it's still just as concerning to have seen the number of injuries rise.

"It's an indication that any one of those injury crashes could have been a fatal," sgt Woitowitz said.

"With technology and the advancements in motor vehicle safety and the improvements on our roads and in road corridors, that's a reflection on why they weren't fatalities and that they were injuries.

"It's alarming to us that our injury crashes are up, when a lot of people only focus on the fatalities. "

Sgt Woitowitz wants to see the number of injuries decrease with the number of fatalities in 2020, starting today.

"We still are having a lot of crashes on our roads," he said.

"We just want to make sure that everyone is prepared and they plan their trips and they adhere to all the safety rules and the regulations on our roads on the holiday period."

Road operations will continue throughout the school holidays in conjunction with the state campaign targeting the fatal five: speeding, inattention, lack of seatbelts, alcohol and drugs, and fatigue.


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