SPEEDERS, mobile phone addicts and seat belt snubs were netted in three police operations across Albury and Wodonga.
Yesterday, the three-day Operation Rusty that targeted unroadworthy cars in the Wodonga region finished with one in seven drivers travelling in unsafe cars.
“Your vehicle is the thing that keeps you on the road. It’s the vehicle’s safety that’s keeping you alive if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision,” Wodonga highway patrol acting Sgt Mal Burdett said.
He said 205 cars were checked across the three days, with 30 defect notices issued, two drug drivers detected and several drivers slapped with infringement notices.
It follows the highway patrol’s Operation Hang Up, which finished at the end of last month and targeted mobile phones.
In the two months of the operation, Sgt Burdett said it had halved serious injury collision statistics that had spiked in the Wodonga area during the past 12 months.
A third of the 90 offences detected in the operation were mobile phone offences and it was a worrying trend.
“We need to continue to run these types of operations and continue to put the message out about distraction,” Sgt Burdett said.
“A millisecond can kill. Turn off your phone or turn it on silent when you’re driving.”
Albury police were also concerned with the result of their day-long operation on Wednesday.
Operation Compliance, which ran state-wide, focused on school zone speeders, seat belt snubs and drivers using mobile phones.
Highway patrol Sgt Matt Zemaitis said nine people were detected speeding, including one travelling at 70km/h in a 40km/h school zone in Corowa, seven people using phones and eight not wearing seat belts.
For an area that had four fatalities last month, Sgt Zemaitis said it was not good enough.
“Slow down, wear your seat belt, if you are fatigued pull over and take a break,” he said.
“You require 100 per cent concentration when driving.”