Phone users among police targets

JAYWALKERS and mobile phone users are the main targets in a Northern police crackdown on road offences today.

More than 60 police officers across the North are joining their colleagues statewide for annual road safety enforcement campaign Operation Zero.

The operation's slogan is ``Zero offences, zero tragedy'' and it runs for 24 hours.

Wellington and Brisbane streets, which handle high volumes of traffic, had the most crashes in Launceston during Operation Zero last year.

This year's campaign began at midnight and ends at 11.59pm tonight.

Acting Inspector Andrew Keane, of Northern District Support Services, said officers across the North were focusing on road offences today.

He said pedestrians who disobeyed road rules and road users who used mobile phones were the targets, but no offence would be ignored.

The number of fines for mobile phone offences in the North has increased by almost 35 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June, compared with the previous year, acting Inspector Keane said.

``Jaywalking, I have seen a fair bit of that,'' he said.

``There were a couple of incidents in the last 12 months where people were injured crossing the road, either because they were not paying attention or the driver was not paying attention.

``Anything to do with inattention, we will watch out for.

``And cyclists - the road rules apply to them too.''

Acting Inspector Keane said road offences might seem trivial, but it was a degree of luck which prevented them from having a devastating impact.

``You might miss a pole by centimetres and it scrapes your car, instead of going head-on,'' he said.

``We encourage people to report details of risky driving behaviour.

``That person you see and report, maybe that will stop them from hurting a member of your family 10 metres down the road.

``It's everyone's responsibility to speak up and ensure we all get home safely.''

People can report motorists, including vehicle registration, anonymously to the Tasmania Police information line on 131 444.


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