Day trippers and holiday makers are being warned to stay away from the Sunshine Coast or face large fines. Photo Ric Frearson
Day trippers and holiday makers are being warned to stay away from the Sunshine Coast or face large fines. Photo Ric Frearson

‘Locals only’: How cops will stop travellers reaching Coast

DAY trippers and holiday makers looking to spend the Easter long weekend on the Sunshine Coast will run the risk of huge fines if caught coming up or down the Bruce Highway.

From today, Sunshine Coast police will patrol all major arterials, pulling over out-of-town cars and giving them two options: Go home, or go home with a $1334 fine.

Sunshine Coast Acting Superintendent Jason Overland said the message was simple: If you're not from the Sunshine Coast, "what are you doing here?".

The tough new measures are aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Carparks to major beaches will also be closed to limit the activity to exercise only.

"Clearly there will be a focus on the Bruce Highway and a rego check can be done in the blink of an eye," Act Supt Overland said.

"And if four people are caught in a car, that's four fines, not one.

"We have extra police to focus on major roads and intercept vehicles. If there is no essential purpose for travel, fines will be issued.

"It's all about keeping residents safe.

"Beaches will be patrolled and access restrictive, effectively to locals only. If you can't walk there, don't go there."

Sunshine Coast Road Policing Unit officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Shane Panoho said more remote areas would be targeted to limit non-essential travel.

"My guys will be out and about patrolling, visiting hinterland walking tracks, national parks, beaches," Snr Sgt Panoho said.

Learner drivers are still allowed to drive with an adult instructor, provided it is for an essential trip.

"If you're driving to the shops for goods and services, that's OK," he said.

"But just to get hours up is not. We are calling on all motorists to be responsible."

Snr Sgt Panoho said his unit was still out in force testing motorists with mobile RBTs.

Last week a Tewantin woman, Krista Yaramanis, 49, fronted Noosa Magistrates Court on a drink driving charge.

Yaramanis blew 0.134 at Noosaville and was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Three drug drivers were also busted.


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