Nineteen charges laid during south coast road blitz

Preventing and disrupting criminal activity on our roads was the focus of a joint police operation on the state’s south coast earlier this week.

Operation Sandtrack, comprised of officers attached to the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Lake Illawarra Police District, South Coast Police District and the Dog Unit, took place across Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 October (2019).

The operation targeted vehicles travelling between Lake Illawarra and Nowra in an effort to prevent and disrupt criminal activity, as well as ensure safety on our roads.

Officers conducted 741 random breath tests and 71 random drug tests across the two days. Nine people were charged for drug presence during random drug testing and two charges were laid for disqualified drivers.

More than 80 traffic infringement notices were issued for a range of offences, including seat belts, vehicle defects, mobile phone use and speeding.

On Wednesday afternoon (16 October 2019) officers conducted a vehicle search in Gerroa, locating and seizing 74 undersized abalone. NSW Department of Primary Industries attended and took carriage of the matter, with a number of charges laid.

Lake Illawarra Police District Commander, Superintendent Dean Smith said while the majority of the community drive safely and obey the road rules, the number of drivers with drugs in their system is concerning and the number of drivers that continue to speed is also extremely disappointing.

“These operations are always about ensuring the safety of road users, stopping criminal and dangerous behaviour – which can have devastating impacts on our local communities,” Superintendent Smith said.

“To see nine people driving around our streets with drugs in their system is not only criminal it is irresponsible.

“Drug use not only impairs driving skills, it places innocent people at great risk. We won’t tolerate that kind of behaviour on our roads.”

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.