Alarm over hoons and drug-drivers

A SPIKE in drug-drivers and L or P-plate hoons has alarmed police during the first week of Operation Crossroads.

In one of the worst cases, police clocked a first-year  learner motorcyclist speeding at 175km/h on the Huon Highway about 7pm on Christmas Eve.

A learner rider is only permitted to travel at a maximum of 80km/h.

Police tried to intercept the rider, who was also overtaking vehicles dangerously, but he allegedly failed to stop. Officers later found the motorcyclist at Huonville. 

The man, 27, will face the Hobart Magistrates Court on driving charges in late January. Police also confiscated his motorcycle.

Inspector Darren Hopkins, of Northern District Support Services, said the motorcyclist's speed was the highest that police had recorded in the past week.

 Police also caught a P-plate rider travelling at 142km/h on the Frankford Highway, and another P-plater speeding at 124km/h on the Tasman Highway.

Inspector Hopkins said another concerning trend was how police had drug-tested fewer drivers, but proportionately more drivers had returned positive drug tests.

Inspector Hopkins said another concerning trend was how police had drug-tested fewer drivers  but proportionately more drivers had returned positive drug tests.

Cannabis and methamphetamines were common among the readings.

Recent test results that Inspector Hopkins had seen from a blood analysis on a man who was in a car crash in the North revealed a new worry for police.

``He had methamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis -  nearly every illicit drug you could think of -  in his system,'' Inspector Hopkins said.

``This shows that people are taking a cocktail of illicit drugs.''

A drink-driver's blood-alcohol concentration of 0.20, four times the legal limit, also alarmed police during Operation Crossroads.

Road Safety Advisory Council chairman Jim Cox advised against complacency now that the festive season is almost over.

``The decisions that you make when you get behind the wheel or the bike will ultimately have good or bad results,'' he said.

``Because there are no accidents.''

The Tasmanian 2013 road toll is 36 after the death of a German tourist on Friday, while the Australia-New Zealand holiday road toll is 15.

Operation Crossroads started on December 23 and continues until January 3.

THE STATISTICS

TASMANIAN results from Operation Crossroads so far, in comparison with this time last year:

Random breath tests conducted: 11,564; up 22 per cent.

Drink-driving offences detected: 40, up 21 per cent.

Drug tests conducted: 25, down 44 per cent.

Positive drug tests: 11, down 15 per cent.

Licence offences detected: 81, up 3 per cent.

Traffic fines issued: 685, up 6 per cent.

Speeding offences detected: 458, down 6 per cent.

Vehicles clamped or confiscated: Seven.

Fatal crashes: One.

Fatalities: One.

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