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ACT Policing reminds motorists to slow down around 40km/h school zones following two recent incidents that saw a truck travelling at 89km/h and an unaccompanied learner driver charged with a raft of offences including drug driving.

Campaign encourages a safe summer CT Policing will be out in force this holiday season, targeting alcohol and drug related incidents, anti-social behaviour as well as impaired driving as part of the 2016-17 Safe Summer campaign. Aimed at keeping the Canberra community safe over the summer period, ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman, and Chief Police Officer for the ACT, Justine Saunders, launched the campaign on Friday 2 December. “This summer we are reminding Canberrans to drink responsibly, look out for your mates and always plan a safe way home ahead of time,” Chief Police Officer Saunders said. “When you consume excessive amounts of alcohol, you greatly increase your potential of becoming a victim of crime or being involved in criminal activity. “If you intend to drink alcohol, don’t drive. There are a range of alternative transport options you can use. Assign a designated driver, car pool with friends or use public transport.” Speeding, driver impairment and reckless drivers will also be a focus for ‘Safe Summer’, with an aim to make the ACT roads

safer, and push towards a zero road toll for the Christmas/New Year period. ACT Policing’s Safe Summer campaign will run until 28 February 2017. Meantime, ACT Policing is reminding motorists to slow down around school zones following two recent incidents. About 2.15pm on Wednesday 30 November, Traffic Operations were enforcing the school zone speed limit on College Street in Bruce when they detected a truck travelling at 89km/h within the 40km/h school zone area. Officer-in-Charge of Tuggeranong Police Station, Station Sergeant Chris Meagher said he was frustrated with this driver’s behaviour. “School zones are in place to protect our most vulnerable road users. In this instance, the driver took 120 metres to bring the vehicle to a complete stop – highlighting just how dangerous speeding can be,” Station Sergeant Meagher said. The 50-year-old driver was issued with a Traffic Infringement Notice for exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 45km/h, a $1,831 fine and six demerit points. The other incident occurred about 8.10am on Tuesday 29 November. Police were enforcing the school zone speed limit on

Ellerston Avenue in Isabella Plains when they detected a vehicle traveling at 58km/h within the 40km/h school zone area. When directed to stop, the driver fled from police and was not pursued. The vehicle was located a short distance away after the driver collided with a tree. The 18-year-old Isabella Plains woman was discovered to be an unaccompanied learner. The woman underwent a roadside drug screen test, returning a positive indication to a prescribed drug. “This driver behaviour is abhorrent. It is a miracle that no children were hurt while they were walking to school that morning,” Station Sergeant Meagher said. The 18-year-old has been charged for exceeding the speed limit, failing to stop, not displaying L plates as required, driving unaccompanied, drug driving, driving a motor vehicle without consent and aggravated furious/ reckless/dangerous driving. The woman will face court next year. The speed restrictions are in place between 8am and 4pm within sign-posted school zones. According to the ACT Government’s Education Directorate, Friday 16 December is the final day of Term 4 for ACT Schools.

Mental health is top concern for youth The results for Mission Australia’s annual Youth Survey were released on Tuesday 6 December and showed mental health as the top concern. Over one-quarter of ACT’s 475 respondents, aged 15 to 19, ranked mental health as the top issue facing Australia, followed closely by equity and discrimination, and alcohol and drugs. Young people in the ACT were the only ones to report mental health as the top concern when compared to other states and territories. Ben Carblis, State Director Mission Australia, said he was particularly worried that young people in the ACT highlighted mental health as the top concern facing the nation. “While we are seeing that ACT’s young 12

people are bringing mental health to the fore as their top concern for Australia, we also see mental health concerns reflected for local young people on a personal level with stress, school and study problems and body image as the top three issues,” he said. “In light of these results, we are strongly advocating for a more coordinated, comprehensive and cohesive national and localised plan so that we can ensure we are delivering the right programs to the young people who need them most.” The report also showed that just over onethird of young people in the ACT indicated that they had experienced some form of

unfair treatment or discrimination in the last 12 months, with the main reasons being gender, age and mental health. Close to six in 10 young people surveyed in the ACT had witnessed someone else being unfairly treated or discriminated against in the last 12 months, most commonly on the basis of race/cultural background, sexuality and gender. Mr Carblis said further reflection and action was needed to address the numbers of young people both experiencing and witnessing discrimination. The Youth Survey acts as a platform for allowing young people to voice their concerns and aspirations for the future.

Profile for Canberra Weekly Magazine

08 December 2016  

08 December 2016