Hoons on notice

Hoons on notice

Limestone Coast Police have issued a warning to hoon drivers following an increase of car thefts and subsequent joy riding in the last few weeks.

SAPOL Officer in Charge of the Limestone Coast Local Service Area Superintendent Cheryl Brown said there had been an increase in perpetrators stealing vehicles and taking them for a joy ride before dumping them near pine forests and setting them alight.

“We have had a little bit of an uptick on that behaviour so … we have certainly been after some particular people who we think are probably the main offenders in that regard,” she said.

“That causes a layered risk for us, we are out of the fire danger season now so that aspect of it is a tiny bit safer but they are really high risk behaviours that we are trying to deal with at the moment.

“The first thing that we can do in that regard to prevent that happening is firstly if it is a stolen vehicle, people can make sure they are keeping their vehicles secure, lock their vehicles and lock their keys away.

“It is also worth noting that anyone who is undertaking that sort of dangerous driving behaviour then they are going to increase their chance of getting caught.

“We can find that imaging from dashcam videos, CCTV, traffic management cameras, all of these resources are out there.

“We get many reports from the public themselves as well, social media is a huge space for us to find that vision.

“We do not want that behaviour on the road and so anyone who we feel is potentially a person of interest we will actively be seeking them.”

Meanwhile, Superintendent Brown said people who were driving whilst disqualified continued to be a consistently high percentage of the arrests made in the Limestone Coast by police.

“The difference between unlicensed and disqualification is they (disqualified drivers) have actually been told by a court they are not to be driving,” she said.

“It then really does become a breaching of what the magistrate or the judge has instructed to happen.

“They are actually classified as a dangerous road user and they are one of the fatal five factors and are actually found to be contributors to the road trauma and deaths.

“They put everyone at risk because of their blatant disrespect for those rules.

“If someone is unable to pay for a driver’s licence, if that is one of their issues then it’s quite likely their vehicle is also going to be quite unsafe.

“If people do drive while disqualified, the thing they need to be aware of is it is very easy for us to work it out so if you drive while disqualified we will be able to find you very quickly if you are on the road.

“Drive disqualified far exceeds driving with a suspended licence or driving unlicenced, so it is a significant category for us and it is where we are focusing attention.”

There was an expanded focus on road safety by Limestone Coast Police last week for National Road Safety Week.

The South Australian road fatality toll is currently 33 compared to 57 at the end of May last year.

Superintendent Brown said it was of the utmost importance to police in the region to prevent fatalities on the road which lead to an “overall community sense of loss”.

“From a Limestone Coast perspective, we had our last fatality obviously at Easter but we have had a number of accidents and while they have not resulted in serious injury they have been created by really poor driver behaviour and distraction on the road,” she said.

“It cannot be stated highly enough how important it is to us to prevent fatalities on the road. We know the majority of fatalities in our regional areas are local people,” she said.

“If we can focus our energies on our local community to make sure our local community are doing all the right things then we are going to have a better impact on that fatality rate for our people.”

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