Operation Tortoise: Speeding up in the New England, but region fatality-free over Easter long weekend

Cop stop: A driver is breath tested on Armidale Rd in Tamworth during Operation Tortoise on the Easter long weekend. Photo: Peter Hardin 140417PHD014

Cop stop: A driver is breath tested on Armidale Rd in Tamworth during Operation Tortoise on the Easter long weekend. Photo: Peter Hardin 140417PHD014

SPEEDING was up over the Easter long weekend with police dismayed at drivers who put other motorists’ lives at risk.

Operation Tortoise wrapped up at midnight on Monday and across the New England North West, there were hundreds of tickets issued.

Highway patrol Sergeant Michael Buko said Oxley, Barwon and New England police conducted 8,147 random breath tests over the blitz.

“Ten people were detected drink driving and 15 people were stopped for drug driving,” he said.

“People think it’s young people drink or drug driving but sadly there is drivers in the 50-plus age bracket being detected with alcohol or illegal substances in their system.”

People think it’s young people drink or drug driving but sadly there is people in the 50-plus age bracket being detected with alcohol or illegal substances in their system. - Sergeant Michael Buko

“Police issued 234 speeding infringements which is up on last year, and of most concern, P1 and P2-platers are not listening to the warnings about speeding.”

Officers issued 147 other tickets for doing the wrong thing.

“Highway patrol and general duties police embarked on a high visibility blitz to ensure every motorist got to their destination safely, and locally, we were fatality-free,” Sergeant Buko said.

“It’s just a reminder that as a driver, you can be stopped at anytime, anywhere, on a highway or a back road, police will catch you if you do the wrong thing.”

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