Op Austrans: drug driving concern in Victoria

First day of national testing sees alarm over a core group of bad drivers

Op Austrans: drug driving concern in Victoria
Operation Austrans is underway


Victoria Police is responsible for the first results from this year’s Operation Austrans, finding one in 37 truck drivers it has pull over drug-test positive.

Overseen by the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency, Operation Austrans is an Australasian heavy vehicle and driver inspection initiative focusing on for drugs and alcohol, traffic, fatigue and compliance offences that provides some insight into the legal state of the industry.

Acting superintendent of road policing operations Stuart McGregor says the results from Monday paint "an alarming picture of drug culture within the industry".

"In Victoria, 295 drug driver screening tests were administered on Monday with eight heavy vehicle drivers returning a positive result," McGregor says.

"Alarmingly that is 1 in 37 drivers that just should not be driving on our roads."

Brimbank Highway Patrol members intercepted a B-double on the Calder Freeway at Keilor travelling at 100km/h in an 80km/h zone.

A check of the unnamed driver revealed he had a suspended licence, alleged falsified log books and he then failed an oral fluid drug test, police report.

Drug testing was conducted nationally with 63 positive drug tests returned, 1 in every 68, Victoria Police says.

Operation Austrans has been conducted annually since 1989.

McGregor says that the results have revealed that, despite efforts to eradicate driver drug use, there is a core group of heavy vehicle drivers putting the community at risk.

"None of us want to think that the 12-tonne truck approaching us at 100km/h on the freeway is under control of a person impaired by illicit drugs," he adds.

New South Wales Police tells ATN it is likely to release early result later today while Queensland Police is awaiting collation due to ongoing action. A response from South Australia is awaited.

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