One-third of drivers test positive for drugs in Redlands police operation

ONE-THIRD of drivers tested positive in roadside drug tests during a police operation in the Redlands last week.

Operation Romeo Wisket targeted drug driving, traffic enforcement and illicit drug possession on the mainland and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

During the operation, 21 roadside drug tests were conducted with seven drivers returning positive results.

Officers - including from the Capalaba Tactical Crime Squad and the Road Policing Unit - conducted high visibility patrols throughout the Redlands area, conducting random drug and alcohol testing.

The operation was aimed at providing a high policing presence to the Redlands to reduce road trauma.

Eighteen people were charged with 56 offences, mostly related to drug and traffic matters. Police also found amphetamine and cannabis.

Acting Senior Sergeant Pat Bates said although the drug detection results were disappointing, police would continue their strong presence over the holiday period.

"We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday time and would remind everyone to travel safely when using our roads," Acting Senior Sergeant Bates said.

With the end of the year quickly approaching, the Christmas road safety campaign Operation Romeo Sleigh will highlight the Fatal Five - speeding, drink and drug driving, fatigue, seat belt use and driver distraction.

It comes as the state government announced strict new laws that will impose tougher penalties to drivers caught using their phones behind the wheel.

The laws will be in place by early 2020 and will see drivers being fined $1000 for the offence. Demerit points are also increasing from 3 to 4.

If drivers are caught a second time within 12 months, double demerit points apply and they could lose their licence.

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