Unauthorised drivers not deterred by major arterial traffic operation

Unauthorised drivers thought they were above the law but Operation Sigma proved that theory wrong. During the four-day road policing operation 64 people were detected as either unlicensed, disqualified or suspended from driving.

The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology proved a useful tool for police, helping to detect these types of drivers on the major arterials of Melbourne.

Road Policing Command Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said the fact that people were unlicensed, disqualified or suspended from driving and continued to get behind the wheel of a car was alarming.

“For one reason or another these people do not have a driver’s licence,” Superintendent Fitzpatrick said.

“Their previous track record has made it quite clear that it’s not safe for them to be on our roads.

“It’s frustrating for us as police, but if anything was to go wrong and someone was innocently injured or killed, the first question people ask is why were they on the road to begin with.”

“We are not going to apologise for playing our role in keeping the community out of harm’s way.”

Police were also concerned with the fact that 76 per cent of speeding infringements issued went to people who were travelling between 10km-25km over the speed limit.

“As traffic volumes continue to rise, we have seen a decrease in the number of people excessively speeding,” Superintendent Fitzpatrick said.

“But when you are already travelling at 100km an hour, a simple ten to 25 kilometres over the speed limit will result in death if you crash.

“Is the adrenaline or the two to three minutes off your arrival time really worth it?”

Police continue to shake their heads at the number of drug drivers detected, particularly when Operation Sigma was conducted during the day and not on weekends.

“Drug driving is never okay, but the fact that 21 drug drivers were detected at a time where people are travelling to work, doing the daily school drop off or going about their daily business is concerning,” Superintendent Fitzpatrick said.

“The common perception that drug driving only happens at night and on weekends is simply untrue.”

Over the four days 951 traffic offences were detected. This included:

• 2 drink drivers

• 21 drug drivers

• 31 disqualified/ suspended drivers

• 33 unlicensed drivers

• 332 speeding offences

• 26 disobey signs/signals

• 14 seatbelt offences

• 56 mobile phone offences

• 151 unregistered vehicles

• 27 impoundments

Operation Sigma was a four-day operation that ran on Tuesday 2 June, Wednesday 3 June, Wednesday 10 June and Thursday 11 June 2020.

It involved personnel from the State Highway Patrol, Heavy Vehicle Unit, Solo Unit and Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section and focused on major arterials across Melbourne.

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