New-look mobile speed camera vehicles are operating around the region, including this one spotted on the Warrego Highway at Blacksoil.
New-look mobile speed camera vehicles are operating around the region, including this one spotted on the Warrego Highway at Blacksoil.

Covert cops catching motorists

A TRADESMAN-LIKE dual cab ute is part of a network of vehicles that Queensland police are relying on to catch out speeding motorists during the holidays.

While the covert Isuzu (pictured) is the only vehicle based out of the Southern Police Region – which covers Toowoomba and Ipswich – police are also rotating different vehicles between the regions to keep them from becoming too familiar.

So far the ploy seemed to be working, although Southern Region traffic co-ordinator Inspector Lyle Mitchell said wet weather and widespread flooding had also played a key role in reducing the number of people caught speeding and drink driving during the Christmas-New Year period.

“We are happy that the number of injury crashes is down – there were none at all in Ipswich on December 29 and, from Christmas Eve to midnight Wednesday, there have been only three,” Insp Mitchell said.

Over the same period last year there were seven injury accidents.

“I can say absolutely that the majority of people are driving to the road conditions,” he said.

“There has also been some really good work going on in the Springfield and Goodna areas by local police – particularly with the interception of drink drivers in the early morning.”

Mobile police patrols have caught 96 speeding motorists over the Christmas period, with nine drink drivers nabbed as a result of 1752 random breath tests and 560 hours of traffic policing.

In comparison, covert and marked speed cameras have caught 258 speedsters on roads in the Ipswich police district during the same period.

All figures were down on last year and wet weather was thought to have been a major influence.

“The level of activity has been down due to road closures and a lot of police resources have been put into patrolling those flooded areas,” Insp Mitchell said.

The death of 18-year-old Lowood woman Candice Mangan on Monday – caused by a statue which fell onto the road – will spark an additional crackdown on insecure loads during the holidays.

Ms Mangan's was the third fatality caused by debris that had fallen from vehicles in the Southern Region since the beginning of the holiday period.

Two people were killed when their ute crashed into a truck after swerving to miss a set of traffic lights which had fallen off the back of a truck at Severnlea, near Stanthorpe, on December 16.

Ipswich's 2010 road toll stands at 12, which is seven fewer than last year.



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