‘Tis the season for not-so-jolly double demerits
IF, LIKE the old song says, you reckon things are starting to look a lot like Christmas, give yourself a talking-to about road safety and your driving habits.
Police will be out in force during the Christmas road blitz from Friday December 21 to Sunday January 6.
Just a bit of careless inattention could see you blow your licence.Read more
Yes, it’s double-demerit time and that means speeding at 30km/h above a posted limit could see you off the road.
Such an offence normally brings a six-point penalty, but it will be 12 during the blitz period and that’s enough to see you sidelined.
A blood alcohol content of 0.05 will earn you six points, 0.06 eight and 0.07 ten. Higher than that, and it’s off to court.
Seat belt offences will bring eight points and using a mobile phone while driving will earn six.
“Nineteen people have died this year in Wheatbelt road accidents,” Toodyay police chief Sgt Warren Conder said.
“Within the last week I attended the deaths of two young people – a young woman in Northam and a young man in Nunile.”
Four of the 19 fatalities occurred in the Toodyay area.
“The figures are dismaying,” Sgt Conder said. “The fight to cut the toll goes on.”
He said about 70 per cent of all road fatalities arose from excessive speed, alcohol or a combination of both.
In wishing Toodyay people a happy Christmas, Sgt Conder added a warning about the blitz: “Make sure the only red and blue lights you see this Christmas are on your tree, not in your rear-view mirror.”
Check where the kids are
IT’S 10.30pm and the kids are in bed, Mum and Dad yawn, turn off the telly and head for bed themselves.
The kids are quiet but are they asleep?
They’re planning some fun, waiting for the all-clear before climbing through a window to join their teenage pals in a little nocturnal adventuring, the kind of thing that might sound like high-spirited hijinks but something that can easily lead to criminal offending.
Toodyay police say that such a scenario is not as far-fetched as you might think.
With school holidays approaching, they would like to remind parents, especially in households where both parents work full time and are away from home for much of the day, to remember to check on where their children are.
Firearm breaches continue
OPERATION Bluestone has brought another police crackdown on firearms.
It’s a state-wide initiative that began on November 4 and will run till the end of the year. But the work is nothing new for Sgt Conder and his team.
“We have been doing these checks in Toodyay since 2013 and, frankly, I am bitterly disappointed that so many firearm owners are not getting the message,” he said.
“It appears some people out there are blatantly ignoring their responsibilities.”
In the latest crackdown four people have been charged with firearm licensing breaches with 16 firearms seized.
Some 80 per cent of firearm owners interviewed by police were breaching licence conditions in some way.
Storage failings were a regular problem with some gun owners just not knowing where their firearms were.
“My staff are instructed to educate where possible,” Sgt Conder said, “but sometimes we have no option but to charge.”
Report elder abuse
FOLLOWING on from their pubic support for the Choose Respect campaign, police have been speaking out on behalf of Toodyay’s elderly residents.
They held a public forum (pictured left) last month on the subject of elder abuse.
“We don’t have a nursing home in Toodyay but there is a big proportion of older people living in our town and district and they need the community’s respect and support,” Sgt Conder said.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to report elder abuse.”
He said the use of cameras and other techniques were making the crime of elder abuse easier to detect but a lot of mistreatment went unreported because those targeted were fearful of reprisals.