Drivers booked in the Barton blitz
Yass Highway Patrol booked 70 drivers for speeding on the Barton Highway during their two-week “Barton Blitz” in February.
ACT and Yass drivers accounted for two thirds of the speeding tickets issued.
The increased presence of the Yass Highway Patrol was still not enough to prevent tragedy; there was a fatality on the notorious road during the blitz a two-car accident near Murrumbateman.
Between 2006 and 2010 there were 132 recorded crashes on the 38-kilometre road connecting Canberra and Yass, including 82 people injured or killed. A total of 32 per cent of crashes involved injuries and 5 per cent were fatal.
The highest speed clocked during the blitz was by a 40 year old man who was recorded at speeds up to 154 km/hour.
It wasn’t just speeding drivers police were on the lookout for. Drivers were booked for overtaking on double lines, driving unregistered vehicles and driving while unlicensed.
One disqualified driver was detected, as were three motorists using their mobile phones when driving.
Alison Beresford, Yass Valley Council’s Road Safety Officer said that although speeding was clearly still an issue on the road, "this operation has shown that drivers are engaging in other risky behaviours when behind the wheel”.
“A moment’s inattention and distraction can have disastrous results, not only for the driver but also the other motorists on the road,” she said.
The blitz was a joint initiative of Yass Valley Council and the police to improve safety on the Barton Highway.
Acting Yass Highway Patrol Sergeant Steve Yeo encouraged people who spotted poor driving contact police.
"You can remain anonymous,” he said.