One in 10 drivers caught in Ballarat at weekend fail drug tests

Inspector John Cormack said police are shocked about the amount of drivers caught on drugs around Ballarat at the weekend. Picture: Greg Gliddon
Inspector John Cormack said police are shocked about the amount of drivers caught on drugs around Ballarat at the weekend. Picture: Greg Gliddon

ALMOST one in 10 drivers caught in a major police operation throughout Ballarat at the weekend were on drugs, shocking statistics reveal.

Police are appalled that of the 241 drivers who were asked to submit to a drug test in the Ballarat region over the weekend as part of Operation Farenheit, 23 failed the test.

And Commander of the State Highway Patrol John Cormack promised drivers could expect many more tests to come in the coming months as police continue their efforts in making country roads safe.

The state wide operation focused on high traffic roads away from the major highways. In the Ballarat region, more than 700 drivers were breath tested over the period May 11-14.

In all, police wrote up 295 offences which included 225 penalty notices for relating to speed, disqualified or unlicensed drivers or defective vehicles. There were more than 100 warnings also issued. 

Inspector Cormack said one of the biggest issues facing police was people continuing to not wear their seatbelt.

“It beggars belief that in 2018, after we’ve been going on about it since the 1970s, that people still put their and other lives at risk by not wearing a seatbelt,” Inspector Cormack said.

“Of the 295 offences, we had 20 for not wearing their seatbelt. It’s just ridiculous to think in this day and age we are still coming up against that.”

Inspector Cormack said defective vehicles were also an issue.

“Country people do tend to keep cars for longer, so we do so a lot more cracked windscreens, or frayed belts or doors that don’t open, things like that,” he said.

“What we also see a lot of in country roads is a lot more defective vehicles.”

Inspector Cormack said police would continue to patrol country areas over the coming months. 

“This is ongoing, this isn’t us just coming up for one period and making our presence felt,” he said. 

“We’ll keep coming back because it’s a priority for us that people who drive on country roads drive to the conditions.”