Five caught out in highway drug driving blitz
POLICE are undertaking a massive traffic blitz in the Bundaberg region, catching five drivers under the influence of drugs between 6am and 11.30am on Wednesday.
About 20 policemen and women and eight vehicles are assembled on the side of the Bruce Hwy at Takilberan, 23km north of Gin Gin, stopping traffic to breathalyse drivers and identify any registration, loading and drug issues.
They began at 6am and will be there until 6pm Wednesday.
"We do this twice a year and we've been doing it for nine years,” officer-in-charge Sergeant Tim Marrinan said.
"Our focus today is the Fatal Five, making sure people are driving safely - that they're not distracted, not using drugs, (they have their) seatbelts on, and speed (is also a focus).
"We've got speed cameras set up all over the place too, so we're covering all bases.”
The NewsMail observed two drivers pulled over by police, both undercover and marked, on the road between Gin Gin and Bundaberg.
A "mixed bag” of cops from the Road Policing Command and Random Drug Testing Unit from Brisbane as well as local road policing units from Bundaberg and Maryborough and drug dogs were brought in to conduct the operation.
Sgt Marrinan said the five drug-driving offences were "not the most we've had, but it's significant for a major highway - where people are partaking in recreational drugs, especially cannabis and methamphetamine, and driving”.
"Some of them had their families in the car.”
A mother with her two teenagers in the car was caught out for driving with cannabis in her system.
"She was pretty disappointed in herself - she knew she'd done wrong,” Officer Marrinan said.
"She'll lose her licence eventually and she's been stuck here for six or seven hours already until someone can come and get her.
"She's let down herself, her family and everyone - but there's also the possibility of (hurting) someone else on the road.
"If someone has a crash and kills someone, they've got to live with that, and that's what this is all about - to bring awareness to all motorists, truck drivers as well as car drivers.”
Queensland Transport officials weighing trucks, with several found to be too heavy on their axles and several log book and fatigue management infringements issued, and several cars were searched for drugs.