by Julia Baker
AN major week-long police traffic operation recently conducted across the region drove home to motorists to importance of heeding the message of the Fatal Five.
It also led to the seizure of an "illegal snake" from a Chinchilla residence.
Operation Papa Anoa was planned through Miles Police, as a part of Operation Austrans, on the Warrego and Leichardt Highways, the greatest two thoroughfares in the Southern Region used by thousands of travellers daily to transit east west through southern Queensland, or north south from New South Wales or North Queensland.
The operation consisted of static sites being conducted at three locations based on traffic crash analysis by Roma District staff, Road Drug Testing Unit and the Department of Transport inspectors.
Miles Police Station Officer in Charge Acting Sergeant Scott Pogan said traditionally the two highways have experienced serious traffic accidents including fatal and serious injury accident because of heavy traffic throughout the area.
"Operation Austrans is a regionally focused operation targeting both heavy transport vehicles and private vehicles using National Highways," he said.
"Emphasis was placed on the interception of all heavy vehicles and the detection of all offences."
The operation was conducted from March 27 until April 2 and resulted in over 2500 RBT's and 215 random drug tests. Police intercepted one drink driver, four drug drivers and identified 244 traffic infringement notices, as well as charging 35 motorists with offences; 284 charges and offences in total.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection also seized one illegal snake, a coastal carpet python, from a residence in Chinchilla as a result of information obtained during the operation.
"In all the operation sent a significantly strong message to motorists about the dangers of drink and drug driving and the fatal five offences," Acting Sgt Pogan said.