Speeding motorists full of excuses

A motorist was fined $800 and lost six demerit points after being caught travelling 37km/h over the speed limit in a 50km/h zone. Photo: WA Police

A motorist was fined $800 and lost six demerit points after being caught travelling 37km/h over the speed limit in a 50km/h zone. Photo: WA Police

Bridgetown Police are alarmed and disappointed by the number of motorists speeding through town, including school zones in Roe and Steere streets.

And to top it off, some speeding motorists had the nerve to blame police for slowing them down or for making them late.

If you think you might be late, then leave five or ten minutes earlier - don't speed. - Senior Constable Ben Ducker, Bridgetown Police

Bridgetown Police Senior Constable Ben Ducker said two motorists caught speeding through a school zone on the same morning last week complained officers were 'making them late' by issuing infringements.

"One told us they were running late for an appointment and one was running late for work. They were stopped, shown their speed, breath tested and the officer wrote out the infringement, which took about four minutes," he said.

"The school zones are in operation only for a small part of the day, from 7.30am to 9am and from 2.30pm to 4pm, and the actual distance through which you need to slow down would be 500m maximum.

"If you think you might be late, then leave five or ten minutes earlier - don't speed."

Snr Constable Ducker said the reason police patrolled school zones was to save lives.

"We would say to these motorists, how would they feel if their children were crossing the road and other parents were speeding through?

"If you speed and are stopped by police as a result, they will write you an infringement and that will take a few minutes, so your speeding will have achieved nothing.

"In fact, we worked it out that if you sped by 5-10km/h over limit all the way to Bunbury you'd only get there six minutes or so quicker - it's just not worth it."

When it came to excuses for speeding through school zones, police had heard them all.

"Some motorists claim they aren't from the area and didn't know it was a school zone," Snr Constable Ducker said.

"But flashing lights were installed at the school zones last year - before that there were signs - it's never been easier to spot the zones than it is now.

"Even then some motorists speed through and claim they didn't see the flashing lights."

With the school term well underway, Snr Constable Ducker said motorists should not be complacent.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy for speeding, especially in school zones, and motorists should be aware police are also patrolling other areas," he said.

Bridgetown Police set up in Nelson Street on Wednesday and caught a string of motorists speeding in a 50km/h zone. One motorist caught travelling 87km/h in a 50km/h zone was fined $800 and penalised six demerit points, and that driver was "one of many, most were 20-30km/h over".

"We will continue to patrol school zones, conduct checks and deal with people appopriately if they breach the rules,” Snr Constable Ducker said.

Indeed, this week's wet weather and subsequent limited visibility and slippery roads had provided an extra need for motorists to slow down, Snr Constable Ducker said, adding “If ever there was a time to drop five and save lives, it's when the heavy rain sets in.”

Last week the Road Safety Commission and police described the behaviour of hundreds of drivers speeding through WA school zones in the first week of school as ‘shameful and appalling’.

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