Horror Toll Prompts Road Blitz

The West Australian © Watching: Police will blitz the roads. Picture: Steve Ferrier/ The West Australian
Tayissa Barone and Josh Nyman, The West Australian - Updated January 24, 2013, 2:02 am

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Police will flood WA's roads with marked cars, booze buses and speed cameras in a four-day long-weekend blitz after the road toll climbed to 19 deaths in the first three weeks of the year.

Senior WA traffic officer Cdr Kim Papalia said overtime had been approved and officers recalled to ensure police were out in force on city and country roads at the weekend.

As thousands of people take to the roads during the double demerit points period, Cdr Papalia warned that traffic police would focus on speed, seatbelts and fatigue.

Drivers also would be tested for drugs and alcohol.

"You will be seeing an increased police presence because we will be using extra hours to get extra police on the road," Cdr Papalia said.

"It is absolutely fair to say that with Australia Day on the Saturday, there will be a higher risk that people will be drinking and driving over the Sunday-Monday period."

He said the "party days" fell after Australia Day and presented a risk that police would seek to manage with enforcement, including more alcohol and drug buses.

Cdr Papalia warned to expect sequence cameras - one speed camera after another on the same road.

He said police asked people not only to think of their own lives but also the lives of other road users when driving at the weekend, with the death toll at its highest in recent years.

"I'm tired of our people having to do death notifications. This year has been a very sad start to the year for 19 families and beyond that the serious crashes we've had," Cdr Papalia said.

"Our message will be, we will be out there to enforce the road rules, we will look to improve driver behaviour on the roads . . . the intent is to try and check people's behaviour."

Police were yesterday investigating the State's latest fatal crash in which a 51-year-old man died after his Holden Commodore slammed into a tree just north of Albany about 10am.

Motorists reported witnessing the man driving in both directions along Albany Highway and swerving between lanes, including in front of oncoming traffic, before the crash near Millbrook Road.

Anyone who saw the crash or the vehicle before the accident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The double demerit period begins at 12.01am tomorrow and ends at 11.59pm on Monday.


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