A squad from Victoria Police Highway Patrol that blitzed Echuca last weekend was left appalled at the number of offences police dealt with.
One driver was clocked at 148km/h in a 100km/h zone — and a learner driver was found driving at 127km/h, also in a 100km/h zone.
Sergeant Pat Cleary, who headed the crew from Melbourne, was left almost speechless after nabbing the learner driver.
‘‘Seriously, how can we change our driver safety culture if our next generation of drivers is being taught to behave like this?’’ Sgt Cleary said.
‘‘This young driver has been fined $436 and earned four demerit points before they even get a licence.
‘‘The supervising driver — and he was using the word supervising loosely — has been banned from the road for a month and also been fined $198 for allowing the learner driver to exceed the speed limit by more than 25km/h.’’
Sgt Cleary said the driver clocked at 148km/h was fined $793 on the spot, given eight demerit points and had his licence suspended for 12 months.
‘‘He was one of the first drivers we caught. We hadn’t even reached Echuca, we were still on our way up for the weekend when we nabbed this driver,’’ he said.
‘‘How safe do you feel with this driver hurtling towards you?
‘‘These are people who have no thought for other road users and put everyone in danger by their reckless driving.
‘‘The 128km/h local will be wearing down tread on his boots as he’s walking for the next month, has four demerit points and will be paying a $436 fine — we found him on the Murray Valley Hwy.’’
Sgt Cleary said the Highway Patrol had a strong focus on drink and drug driving, and speeding.
He said they would be working right across the shire so people could expect to see patrol cars in their rear vision mirrors anywhere and at any time.
To complement their work the police have also brought in the booze bus, with its crew busy doing breath testing and oral drug testing.
Since reaching Echuca, Sgt Cleary said he and his team had picked up an unlicensed driver, an unregistered vehicle, an unsecured load, performed 187 random breath tests (not including the booze bus) and booked three drivers who had been speeding by less than 10km/h over the limit.
He said these results were bad enough, but it was the lead-footed drivers in the Campaspe region who scared him.
‘‘We have booked 11 drivers between 15km/h and 25km/h over the speed limit and three more than 25km/h over the limit — one was almost 50km/h over the limit,’’ Sgt Cleary said.
‘‘Sadly we also got a drug driver — it is all just unbelievable, people are supposed to be getting better at this, not worse.’’