REVEALED: Number of people busted at Brigalow RBT site
DURING a massive police operation at least 2,500 motorists were stopped and drug and alcohol tested on the Warrego Highway as police set up along the busy thoroughfare in Brigalow for three days, 24 hours a day.
Operation Chariot Repeal (OCR) was one of the largest Road Safety Week operations ever seen in the wider Chinchilla region, led by Chinchilla police senior constable James Leahy.
Snr constable Leahy said OCR was a huge success resulting in numerous charges, including 59 drivers issued with speeding fines, six people charged with drink driving, five people charged for drug driving, four for unlicensed driving, and one charge for driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle.
"I co-ordinated assistance from Jandowae Police Station, Miles Police Station, Dalby Road Policing Unit, and Chinchilla - so with those other stations helping us it made the operation the success that it was," snr constable Leahy said.
"Across the three days we've conducted approximately 2,500 roadside breath tests, as well as a number of roadside drug tests.
"During most hours of the day there were both marked and unmarked vehicles patrolling the back roads, where people were intercepted, and a couple of drink drivers were picked up.
"OCR was specifically targeting the fatal five to put downwards pressure on road related trauma and the associated damage to infrastructure."
Snr constable Leahy said drivers known to police for their involvement in drug trafficking were stopped and searched, although police are still collecting data in relation to those incidents.
"A number of vehicles were stopped when intelligence suggested they were transporting, or associated with the transport of dangerous drugs… although it's too early in the operation for those statistics," he said.
Most of the positive roadside drug tests, snr constable Leahy said, returned positive for methamphetamine.
"Drug driving is a major issue at the moment," he said.
"Cannabis is (also) a large problem, there are a lot of casual and habitual users… unfortunately the impairment it gives for driving is significant and does contribute to the issues we have."
The static testing site ran from Friday to Sunday, August 30, although OCR in it's entirely, began August 1.
"The scope of the operation for past month has been an absolute success in putting downward pressure on road related trauma and also the educational side of it as well," snr constable Leahy said.
During OCR over 200 traffic infringement notices were issued, although a majority of road users were doing the right thing.
"The 200 traffic tickets and the charges that have been laid this month, if you count that alone against the 2,500 intercepts, we've done at Brigalow, the percentage of people doing the right thing far outweighs the people that are still not getting the road safety messages," he said.
Because of the success of OCR snr constable Leahy is already planning a larger operation in the near future to target a broader field of offenders.