OPERATION AEGIS: Horsham highway patroller Senior Constable Heath Martin was one of the Wimmera police officers involved in a state-wide road safety campaign during the Queen s birthday long weekend. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWimmera police officers detected 229 driving offences as part of state-wide road safety campaign Operation Aegis, from Friday to Monday, during the Queen’s birthday long weekend.
The figures included 5 drink drivers from 4300 preliminary breath tests.
An unlicensed driver, 16, whose car hit a tree at Dimboola was among the more serious driving offenders police detected during Operation Aegis in the Wimmera.
Two people driving under the influence of drugs and a speeding driver clocked at 154 kilometres an hour were also among the more serious offenders.
A rear female passenger, 17, sustained non-life-threatening back injuries in the car crash at Dimboola on Saturday.
The car was carrying three Dimboola teenagers when the unlicensed driver, 16, lost control of her vehicle at the T-intersection of the Borung Highway and Old Katyil Road about 7.30pm.
The inexperienced female driver was travelling south along Old Katyil Road when she drove across the intersection and hit a tree head-on.
The rear female passenger sustained fractured vertebrae in the crash.
The driver and her front male passenger, 19, were uninjured.
Paramedics drove the injured female passenger to Horsham’s Wimmera Base Hospital and she was later transferred to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne.
Police fined the driver $611 for unlicensed driving.
Dimboola Senior Constable Cal Myers said police had decided not to pursue further penalties at this stage.
“The crash happened because of driver inexperience; the driver was young and unlicensed,” he said.
“We are extremely lucky no-one else was injured.
“This is a valuable lesson for anyone who has no licence and no driving experience, of what could happen if they choose to drive.”
A spokesman for The Alfred said the injured female passenger was in a stable condition on Monday.
Horsham Highway Patrol caught two drug-drivers in Horsham during the operation.
A Horsham male driver, 35, tested positive to cannabis and a South Australian male truck driver, 45, tested positive to cannabis and amphetamines.
Police grounded the truck driver for 24 hours after the test.
Highway patroller Sergeant Wayne Caddy said police would wait for further test results before deciding whether to charge the drivers.
A South Australian male driver caught at 154kmh on the Western Highway was among the highest speeds police detected.
The driver, 22, was in a 100kmh zone at Pimpinio on Monday.
Police disqualified him from driving for 12 months and fined him $611.
The driver also lost eight demerit points.
Horsham Highway Patrol detected 60 speeding drivers in total, including eight who lost their licences for excessive speed.
Highway patrollers also detected three unlicensed drivers, two unregistered vehicles and 14 further driving offences. They also caught a Kaniva man, 41, who had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.065.
Officers fined him $366 and he lost 10 demerit points.
Sgt Caddy said while he was disappointed with the number of speeding drivers, it was fortunate there were no fatalities.
Nhill police fined an unlicensed driver, a driver who crossed over a single continuous white line and three speeding drivers.
The speeding drivers were each clocked at 115 kilometres an hour in 100kmh zones on the Western Highway in the Nhill area.
Nhill Senior Constable Les Newton said he was happy with how the operation went, considering the amount of traffic during the holiday weekend.
Northern Grampians Highway Patrol Sergeant Peter Hawkins said most drivers obeyed the law.
Highway patrollers detected two drink-drivers and a speeding driver clocked at 131 kilometres an hour in a 100kmh zone on the Western Highway near Ararat.
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