Riverina Police District’s Traffic and Highway Patrol Command has urged residents to continue working with them in tackling negative driver attitude and behaviours.
Darryl Thomas, senior sergeant of the command, said residents may send emails and letters with detailed information to help bolster the efforts.
“Generally when residents raise issues, they call police straight away and we attend as soon as we hear it,” Senior Sergeant Thomas said.
“We’ve got to quantify it first, so I invite residents to write to us in addition to calling.”
It comes after residents, in August, called for more police action in resolving hooning and dangerous driving across Wagga.
A central Wagga resident, who did not wish to be named, told The Daily Advertiser, he had reported instances of hooning about 10 times to Wagga Police Station in the past six months.
“I’ve been complaining about this for a long time, but police say it’s not a priority and that they’ve got to catch them [drivers] in the act,” the resident said.
However, Senior Sergeant Thomas said they have directed “as many resources as we could toward this problem”.
“We got cars out there all the time,” he said.
“Anything that looks like a dangerous and illegal driving offences, we punish them as soon as we can.”
Anything that looks like a dangerous and illegal driving offences, we punish them as soon as we can.Senior Sergeant Darryl Thomas, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command
Senior Sergeant Thomas said more details via written statements about incidents would also allow police to work with other authorities.
“For example, with the council and other outlets who have an interest – to gather data and work together,” he said.
The discussion of hooning also raised the matter of a burnout pad in Wagga, which the senior sergeant said it would be advantageous.
“Of course it’d help let off steam – in conjunction with the law, it’d be a great idea,” he said.
“It’s not something we’d do as police, but it would be a positive if they had a race track certified by CAMS [Confederation of Australian Motor Sport] for them to do it in a safe manner.”
In late June this year, the NSW Police Force announced Strike Force Puma, a statewide specialist team targeting high-risk drivers who pose a significant threat to the community.
In mid July, the specialist team caught a blue Holden Commodore and white Subaru WRX for allegedly speeding and street racing on the Olympic Highway.
The drivers – both 21-year-old men – were stopped spoken to by officers.
They were both issued Field Court Attendance Notices for street racing.
They were due to face Wagga Local Court on Wednesday, August 29.
A NSW Police spokesperson said the men were also issued several traffic infringement notices for speeding.
As well, Strike Force Puma officers conducted a four-day operation on July 16–19, 2018, across the RPD.
During the operation, 30 random breath tests and 17 random drug tests were conducted with three people returning an alleged positive reading to drugs.
Five infringements were issued for speeding, two for mobile phone use, two defect notices and two unregistered/uninsured infringements were issued.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Inspector Robert Toynton said the new strategy targeting recidivist traffic offenders has yielded positive results in Wagga.
“We will not tolerate irresponsible motorists that put other road users at risk,” Inspector Toynton said.
“The team came across drivers who were speeding, driving under the influence of drugs, using their mobile phones, and showing a complete disregard for our road rules.
“We encourage the community to continue working with us to bring about a cultural change in driver attitude and behaviour.”
A NSW Police spokesperson said future Strike Force Puma deployments to the RPD were expected.