ACT News

Police fine more than 300 drivers for traffic offences during double demerit period

The number of Canberra motorists caught drink driving on ACT roads during the holidays remained stable, despite a significant fall in the number of breath tests police carried out compared to the previous year.

Thirty-five motorists were nabbed driving alcohol-affected from 5928 random breath tests carried out between December 24 and January 4.

A roadside drug driving test. Sixteen Canberra drivers tested positive for drugged driving from 107 roadside mouth swab ...
A roadside drug driving test. Sixteen Canberra drivers tested positive for drugged driving from 107 roadside mouth swab tests carried out. Photo: Rohan Thomson

That was up only slightly from last summer's double demerit period, which saw 32 drivers test positive to alcohol from 10,594 breath tests.

Sixteen drivers tested positive for drugged driving from 107 roadside mouth swab tests carried out.

ACT Policing credited the drop in the number of blood-alcohol tests carried out this double demerit period to a later start time for the force's latest round of junior police recruits, who were often assigned to traffic duties.

"Canberra usually sees a spike in RBTs when the new constables to ACT Policing commence operational duties within traffic operations," a spokeswoman said.

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"This often occurs around December, however the newest constables will be commencing duties early this year."

Thirteen Canberra drivers were caught speeding more than 30 km/hr above the limit during the double demerit period.

Police nabbed 64 drivers speeding between 15km/hr and 30km/hr above the speed limit, while another 54 motorists were caught driving up to 15km/hr faster than the legal limit.

They were among motorists who police slapped with 302 fines and 213 cautions in the Christmas and New Year fortnight.

A string of speeding drivers caught in the act by police previously prompted acting Station Sergeant Stephen Booth to describe such behaviour as "just crazy" after a cluster of road deaths.

Four people died on Canberra's roads in the final weeks of December, compared to a fatality-free Christmas period in the ACT the previous year.

The deaths brought the total 2015 ACT road toll to 15, which was five more fatalities than in 2014 and the highest toll since 2010.

Isabella Plains resident Valda Jeffery, 74, died in hospital after a two-vehicle smash, which could have been caused by a medical condition, at Calwell on Christmas Day.

Three days earlier a Farrer man, 84, and his wife, 82, died after a collision on Yamba Drive in Farrer.

A man died in a single-vehicle crash in Cook on December 28.