'Disappointing' long weekend recorded on Wheatbelt roads

Wheatbelt results: More than 800 people were detected speeding in the Wheatbelt over the Labour Day long weekend. Photo: Shutterstock.
Wheatbelt results: More than 800 people were detected speeding in the Wheatbelt over the Labour Day long weekend. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Wheatbelt District Police superintendent said driver's behaviour over the Labour Day long weekend was 'disappointing' with more than 800 people being detected speeding in the region. 

Of 16,474 vehicles that went through speed cameras in the Wheatbelt, 648 were detected as driving above the speed limit. 

An additional 209 vehicles were pulled over by Wheatbelt police for speeding.

Superintendent Martin Cope said he is disappointed with the weekend's results. 

"We advertise that we are going to be out there in force and yet people still choose to take that chance," he said.

"Some of the speeds detected were in the 140s and 150s; these are not insignificant speeds.

"As we know in the Wheatbelt, we unfortunately have a number of fatal crashes every year and we're one of the highest districts for crashes and fatalities.

"One of the most common things we have is single vehicle run offs through inattention, fatigue or impaired driving.

"It's quite concerning that people still aren't learning those lessons."

Over the three-day period 1,951 random breath tests were conducted in the region with one person recording a blood alcohol limit above 0.05 and another recording excess 0.08.

Of the 34 drug tests conducted seven came back positive; two for cannabis and five for methamphetamine. 

Superintendent Cope said regardless of substance, people should not be driving under the influence.

"The drink driving message seems to be getting through, although we are regularly getting people recording blood alcohol levels during the week," he said.

"We do seem to pick up a fair bit of meth; sometimes both cannabis and meth in the same test.

"It doesn't matter what drug it is, people shouldn't be driving drug effected."

In 2018, the Wheatbelt region had 19 crashes that resulted in 27 fatalities. 

Superintendent Cope said he was pleased to see no serious crashes in the area over the long weekend.

"Last year wasn't a good year for us," he said.

"That's a lot of impact on communities and families.

"When we've analysed all the fatal crashes speed is a factor in some, impaired driving, inexperience, inattention.

"Each one is different but one of the things that is clear is that if you are doing 110km/h and hit a tree there is going to be some damage."

Two people were caught using mobile phones while driving, eight were caught not wearing a seatbelt and 10 unroadworthy vehicles were detected.

Superintendent Cope's message is for people to slow down and enjoy the ride.

"Plan your trips better do you have plenty of time so you can take breaks without pressure," he said.

"The speed limit is there for a reason.

"Some of the roads are tricky.

"We ask people to drive to the limit and the conditions."