Swoop on distracted drivers

DISTRACTION offences, driver inexperience and vehicle defects were the priority for police on the last day of Operation Crossroads yesterday.

Inspector Darren Hopkins, of Northern District Support Services, said outside distractions such as people walking down the street might cause drivers to crash their cars.

``A driver could look off to the side of the road and then they run up the back end of the car in front,'' he said.

Inspector Hopkins said provisional licence-holders caught drink-driving in the western policing district were also a concern.

Details emerged yesterday of four drink-drivers caught on New Year's Day, who all believed they would be safe to drive the day after a big night of drinking.

The two provisional licence-holders caught drink-driving were in East Devonport, with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.035, and at Devonport, with a reading of 0.067.

Two fully licensed drivers were caught at Port Sorrell, with a BAC of 0.055, and at East Devonport, with a reading of 0.073.

The death of a driver on Powranna Road, Powranna, on Thursday afternoon brought the road toll during Operation Crossroads to three, which is the same as this time last year.

It was the state's first road death for 2014 and police are preparing a report for the Coroner.

Apart from the fatality, there were no serious crashes during the past three days.

There was a minor crash in the South on Thursday however, when a postman was briefly admitted to hospital after high winds knocked him off his motorcycle during his mail delivery round.

THE FIGURES

Operation Crossroads results so far, compared with last year:

Random breath tests conducted: 26,991, down 11 per cent.

Drink-driving offences detected: 120, up 6 per cent.

Drug tests conducted: 74, down 57 per cent.

Positive drug tests: 25, down 4 per cent.

Licence offences detected: 182, up 1 per cent.

Traffic fines issued: 1621, up 14 per cent.

Speeding offences detected: 1247, up 23 per cent.

Vehicles clamped or confiscated: 24, up 9 per cent.

Fatalities: 3.

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