Police nab drivers in sting

BLITZ: A Ballarat police officer flags down a vehicle for a roadside breath test.
BLITZ: A Ballarat police officer flags down a vehicle for a roadside breath test.

A 26-year-old Ballarat man was caught allegedly driving on drugs with a disqualified licence as police ramp up road safety operations ahead of summer.

Last week on October 4, a booze bus was also sent from Melbourne to Ballarat, conducting more than 615 roadside breath tests on drivers.

In the end, none of the tested motorists were found to be above the alcohol limit.

Highway Patrol member Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young, who helps oversee officers patrolling roads around Ballarat, said police were mostly happy with drivers' behaviour except for those who continued to ignore the law.

Acting Senior Sergeant Young said he hoped this was a sign that consistent police messaging was getting through to the public.

“The results are encouraging to police especially as the weather improves and social events such as the racing season begin to increase,” he said.

“The majority of local drivers drive in a safe manner with concern for other road users, and police will continue to conduct operations targeting those that don’t to remove them from our roadways to ensure a safer Victoria.”

On Saturday, police shifted their focus, netting 14 speeding drivers across the Ballarat region.

It was on this day that the 26-year-old disqualified driver was detected allegedly driving on drugs.

The man’s vehicle was impounded and he was expected to be charged on summons in relation to the offences.

There have been 190 deaths on Victoria’s roads in 2017, compared to 225 fatalities in the same time period last year.

But there has been a spike in single-vehicle fatalities in regional areas, including around Ballarat.

Victoria Police assistant commissioner for road policing command, Doug Fryer, has previously said he was worried.

"I've got a concern that we have many people who travel in the country, that see a 100[km/h] sign and think that they have to travel at 100," he said.

"But that's not the case. It is the maximum, not the recommended."

The results are encouraging to police especially as the weather improves and social events such as the racing season begin to increase.

Highway Patrol's Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young