The West

UPDATE: 10.40AM Two men, aged in their 20s, have been arrested and charged with reckless driving after they were caught racing each other on the Mitchell Freeway Sunday morning just before 9am.

The workmates were photographed three seconds apart by the new fixed speed camera that has been trialled for the past five days.

One of the men was caught driving 199km/h the other was driving more than 170km/h. The men have had their cars seized under WA’s anti-hooning laws.

The men are two of twelve people caught driving recklessly by the fixed speed camera, more than 45 kilometres over the speed limit.

More than 20,000 people have been detected speeding since the camera was put in place, but they won’t receive traffic infringement notices because the camera is still being trialled.

As a result of this the Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan had order a multi-nova to be positioned southbound on the freeway, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for duration of the Christmas road blitz.

Motorists are reminded to slow down ahead of the double-demerit campaign period starting tonight.

Double demerits begin on December 23 at 12.01am and end on Sunday, January 8 at 11.59pm.

The 2011 Christmas Traffic Campaign is asking drivers to take responsibility for their actions and consider the impact a death or injury would have on their families and friends.

Mr O’Callaghan said police would continue to enforce the law but it came down to individuals doing the right thing on the roads.

He said police would be out in force over the festive period with 45 new motorcycles on the road and a special operation on major highways for those heading up north and down south.

Mr O’Callaghan said police would check speeds and the road worthiness of vehicles.

“Don’t whinge about the inconveniences. I’m just doing my job,“ he said.

“I don’t care about revenue from speed cameras. I don’t care about the cost of doing this operation. What I care about is saving people’s lives.”

Mr O’Callaghan said 21 per cent of serious and fatal crashes in WA involved motorcycles.

He said 55 to 60 per cent of all people killed in WA were on country roads and most of them were from regional areas.

On average 190 people die on WA roads every year. This year the road roll stands at 174.

Mr O’Callaghan urged road users to not be a road toll statistic these holidays.

“The sad fact is that with around 190 road deaths being recorded during each of the past few years, more than ten families will face losing their loved ones between this Christmas and the New Year period,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Two people died during the Christmas/New Year double-demerit period last year.

Police will be patrolling metropolitan and country areas, targeting motorists who engage in dangerous behaviours including drink and drug driving, speeding, not wearing seat belts, driving with distracted or fatigued or driving unroadworthy vehicles.

Road Safety and Police Minister Rob Johnson said speed camera revenue was expected to be about $85 million in the next financial year.

He said that money would go back into road safety initiatives.

A competition to complement the campaign encourages people to devise positive and creative captions for road safety photos on WA Police social media sites. There are four $250 bank accounts are for grabs.

with AAP

The West Australian

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