Improving driver behaviour to help ease Hobart traffic congestion

Leading into the busy festive season, Tasmania Police continue to remind motorists to do the right thing on our roads to help ease congestion in Hobart City and neighbouring suburbs.


“The Christmas/New Year period is a traditionally very busy time of year, with increased traffic in the CBD. Traffic congestion can be frustrating in the lead up to Christmas – but we all need to get there safely,” said Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling.


“While crashes and roadworks may have an impact on the traffic congestion during peak times, poor driving behaviour of some motorists and pedestrians also impacts on traffic flow.


“Starting next week, our focus will be on enforcement activities and educating road users to improve driving behaviour to help ease congestion in Hobart’s CBD.”


Over the festive period, Southern District Police will be concentrating on offences which contribute to traffic congestion, i.e. parking in clearways, parking so as to obstruct, parking over keep clear markings, blocking an intersection, failing to comply with red or amber traffic control lights, failure to give way and inattention as motorists waiting in traffic give way to temptation and use mobile phones.


“People can expect to see high visibility police vehicles, including motorcycles, targeting areas of high congestion at peak times,” Assistant Commissioner Cowling said.


“Police will also be patrolling Hobart’s CBD on foot, as well as on bicycles, to help remind motorists and pedestrians to do the right thing on our roads.


“We are currently trialling unmarked police motorcycles, to be used mainly to detect high-risk road behaviours in slow-moving and stationary traffic via lane filtering ie will be used in built-up areas around peak traffic periods.”


The target offences include mobile phone, seat belt and inattention.


“Police riding the unmarked motorcycle will wear full uniform with the exception of a non-white helmets. The colour and style of helmet will vary,” Assistant Commissioner Cowling said.


“Police motorcyclists will be fitted with helmet-mounted video cameras, similar to the body worn cameras – which is the first time it’s been used in Tasmania.


“Although the motorcycle is unmarked, it’s fitted with covert lights and sirens, and the police rider will be readily identifiable if you are being intercepted.


“This three month trial in the Southern District has the capacity to significantly change driver behaviour and to really make a difference in making our roads safer for everyone.”


Assistant Commissioner Cowling said that motorists who do the wrong thing could expect receive an infringement notice, or caution notice, or have their vehicle towed from a clearway.


“Police would also like to remind motorists involved in a minor crash that they must clear the roadway as soon as practicable, exchange names and addresses with the parties involved,” Mr Cowling said.


Where possible, motorists in a minor crash were no one is hurt and vehicles don’t need towing, can use the electronic online reporting function available via the Tasmania Police Website, rather than remaining at the crash scene in peak traffic.