Crowd behaviour praised despite concerning speeding results – Op Bathurst

Police have praised the behaviour of racegoers at Mount Panorama in the wake of this year’s Bathurst 1000, however speeding offences remain a concern following the four-day operation.

Operation Bathurst 2019 – a high-visibility operation targeting traffic offences and antisocial behaviour at the event – commenced on Thursday (10 October 2019) and concluded yesterday (Sunday 14 October 2019).

Police conducted 16,493 random breath tests throughout the operation and issued an alarming 536 traffic infringement notices for speeding offences.

Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie APM, said the results were both pleasing and disappointing.

“From a policing perspective it was one of the quietest operations we’ve had down there in recent years,” he said.

“In fact, there were no significant arrests in the precinct of the mountain and Bathurst city actually reports a very quiet weekend as well, so thank you to all of the racegoers and everyone who visited Bathurst over the weekend.”

AC McKechnie said while racegoers did adhere to policing messages while camping and within the precinct, that the number of motorists issued with traffic infringement notices for speeding was disappointing.

“Unfortunately we did issue a lot of traffic infringement notices,” he said.

“There weren’t a lot of drink and drug driving offences detected, but we issued just over 1000 traffic infringement notices over the weekend, and 536 of those were for speeding offences which is clearly really disappointing from our perspective.

“We put all the messages out there, we couldn’t have been more visible on the roads. There were Traffic & Highway Patrol cars saturating the area and we still get 536 people who are prepared to put their lives, and the lives of others, in danger.

“It’s just unacceptable and shows that people really struggle to come to grips with those warnings put out by police. We couldn’t have been more upfront about it, and people who travel to Bathurst every year know that police presence will be high on the roads, and yet we still have people prepared to flout those laws.”

As motorists begin to leave Bathurst today, police urge those travelling to be safe and plan your trip.

Key messages include:

  • Plan your trip, be aware of and manage fatigue – the longer the trip more you need to plan.
  • Alcohol – consider your consumption and ensure you have a Plan B, or have a ‘time out’ to ensure that this will not be an issue on driving home.
  • Be patient – there will be heavy traffic at certain points on way home – out of Bathurst CBD, GWH (eastbound towards Sydney) and other directions across the state.
  • Policing presence will continue across the greater Bathurst region – enforcing speed, seatbelts and dangerous driving offences detected
  • Police will continue to perform random breath testing/ drug testing for those heading home
  • Don’t be complacent – make good decisions – don’t take risks

/Public Release. View in full here.