Bridgetown 19-year-old jailed for reckless driving incident in Boyup Brook

A 19-year-old Bridgetown man was charged over a fail to stop and reckless driving incident in Boyup Brook on January 30, 2018.

The man was charged over having a suspended driver’s licence, failing to comply with a direction to stop (circumstance of aggravation) and reckless driving to escape police pursuit. 

Brayden James Watkins was on remand in prison when he appeared in the Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday, February 19th.

Watkins received a 12 month and one day prison sentence. 

Drivers who flee police in these circumstances now receive a mandatory six-month sentence under tough new police pursuit laws aimed at deterring these pursuits from occurring.

Bridgetown Police Station Officer-in-Charge Phil Nation, said the mandatory sentence was meant as a deterrent but it would be better for all involved if these incidents did not occur.

“Offences of this nature not only put our road users and Police at risk, but place unwanted stress on the families and loved ones of those involved,” Sgt. Nation said.

“It really is time that these offenders took stock of the realities of what they are doing. 

“These are incredibly selfish acts that place our communities and road users at extreme risk.”

Since 2011, 26 people have died as a result of high speed chases, with 20 of them being the driver or their passengers. 

A 16-year-old male died earlier this month following a high speed chase in Perth, after he failed to comply with the direction to stop by police.

Police are determined to crack down on anyone who intentionally tries to evade or escape police, with the previous Barnett Government introducing a mandatory six-month sentence in 2012 for any driver who fails to stop during a pursuit and continues to drive in a reckless manner.

Sgt. Nation said he was concerned as many drivers involved in high speed pursuits were under the influence of substances such as alcohol and drugs.

“Help lines and assistance are available to both offenders and families and I would strongly urge those affected to take up these opportunities.” he said.

“It is never too late to make a clean break and get yourself back on track.”

The Parent and Family Drug Support Line provides a confidential, non-judgmental telephone counselling, information and referral service. 

For more information call 1800 653 203.