Booze off the menu as hundreds breath tested
With Sgt Warren Conder
ONLY one drink driver was detected when more than 1000 vehicles were stopped during a six-hour random breath-testing operation (pictured) in Toodyay last month.
“I’m really pleased that people are starting to realise that drink driving is dangerous,” Sgt Conder said.
“Some motorists registered small amounts of alcohol but only one was over the limit – well done Toodyay.”Read more
Traffic diverted to tourist information bay
The police operation was run jointly with two vehicle safety inspectors from the WA Transport Department who used Toodyay’s new visitor information bay at the eastern end of Stirling Terrace to set up a checking station for vehicle safety defects.
Police stopped and breath-tested hundreds of motorists in Stirling Terrace (picture) while two civilian safety inspectors checked their vehicles for defects.
Where obvious defects were spotted, those vehicles were given a more thorough examination.
The operation ran from 8am to 2pm on a Tuesday and resulted in several vehicles being issued with yellow defect stickers.
“These require remedial work to be completed within 14 days of the expiry date on the work order and checked at an authorised inspection station,” Sgt Conder said.
“Failure to comply may result in the seizure of the vehicle’s number plates and the issue of an infringement notice.
“The length of time required for compliance work to be completed is at the discretion of the issuing officer and depends on how unroadworthy a vehicle is.
“Typical defects include bald tyres, frayed or missing seat belts, broken lights and damaged vehicle bodies where sharp pieces of protruding plastic or metal could cause injury.
“One car stopped had a rear passenger carrying a small child in their lap and no seat belt, which is highly dangerous.
“The fine for driving without a seatbelt is $550 and loss of four demerit points, which could cost someone their licence if it causes them to exceed the 12 demerit point limit.
“The driver’s fine increases to up to $900 if others in the vehicle are not wearing seatbelts, and passengers without belts can also be fined $550 each.”
Scrap metal thieves use truck with red crane
LOCAL residents are urged to be on the look-out for an eight-tonne Hino truck (pictured left) that is being used to steal scrap metal from local properties.
The truck has a red Hiab crane on the back and has been used to steal scrap metal and waste steel from farms and vacant properties.
“It’s a distinctive-looking truck and the thieves wear hi-vis clothing to try to look like regular workmen,” Toodyay police chief Sgt Warren Conder said.
The truck was photographed with a load of stolen steel rail near the Cobbler Pool Road railway crossing last month.
“They’ve been hitting what we call ‘soft opportunity’ targets,” Sgt Conder said.
“We are asking local people to keep a look-out and report any sightings to us at the Toodyay police station on 9574 9555 or call Crime Stoppers WA free on 1800 333 000.”
Guns crackdown nets three
TOODYAY police are now in the second month of random visits to local Wheatbelt properties to check for unsecured or unlicensed firearms.
Six property inspections last month resulted in three gun owners charged and scheduled to face court for various firearms offences.
About a dozen firearms, mostly rifles and some shotguns, were seized.
Penalties can include loss of firearms licences and the destruction of seized guns.
“Breaches are generally for unsecured firearms on farming properties,” Sgt Conder said.
“We’ve done unannounced firearms inspections in Coondle, Bejoording and Julimar, and will continue to do so in all local areas throughout this month.
“The reason we’re doing this is because of the high rate of Wheatbelt gun thefts, with many stolen firearms ending up in the hands of criminals.
“The responsibility to keep the whole community safe starts with gun owners doing the right thing by observing the law.”
Marathon charity ride No. 6
POLICE Sgt Andrew Toop, who lives in Toodyay and is based at Northam, will join Sgt Conder on this year’s Wall 2 Wall motorcycle charity ride from Perth to Canberra in September.
Sgt Conder has already raised more than $20,000 in previous police charity rides for the Bright Blue Foundation to help children who are seriously ill with cancer.
This year’s ride is his sixth and will this time raise funds for Police Legacy to help support the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
The marathon ride – which starts on September 7 at the Joondalup Police Training Academy – will pass through Toodyay to pause at the site where a 51-year-old officer from Warwick police station was killed in a motorcycle training accident on Julimar Road in West Toodyay last December.
“Sgt Toop and I will meet the other 30 or so other riders there to honour a fallen fellow officer and then join the motorcycle group on the ride to Canberra,” Sgt Conder said.
Sgt Conder said sponsors and donors could help raise funds for Police Legacy by visiting or calling him at the Toodyay Police station on 9574 9555 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.