VIDEO: Cabbie speeds, pulls up in ambulance driveway
SENIOR Sergeant Ewan Findlater sat back down in the driver's seat shaking his head.
The Rockhampton Police Traffic Branch boss had just booked a speeding cab driver, who we tailed in an undercover police car along Queen Elizabeth Dve, over the Fitzroy Bridge and onto Fitzroy St.
"He told me he knew he was speeding but had a job to go to and was trying to make money," he said to me with a frustrated sigh as he finalised a speeding ticket.
On Monday afternoon I rode shotgun in an undercover police car to witness what Rockhampton police see every day.
Police have increased their presence on Capricornia roads since June 26 for Operation Cold Snap, which wraps up tomorrow.
Admittedly, Snr Sgt Findlater said it was a pretty good day to be out on the road with him as most motorists seemed to be doing the right thing.
But of course there were a few who broke the road rules which police enforce to keep every motorist and passenger on the road safe.
We were nearing the end of our trip and heading back to the station after doing a few patrols and booking a lady for travelling at 95kmh in an 80 zone on the Bruce Hwy when a bright orange taxi pulled up beside us at a set of southbound traffic lights on Queen Elizabeth Dve.
As the lights flicked green, Snr Sgt Findlater couldn't help but notice the cab accelerate ahead of us and then change lanes without indicating.
"This cab driver doesn't like using his indicator," Snr Sgt Findlater said.
As we tailed the cab through the 60kmh zone, Snr Sgt Findlater watched the number on his speed radar creep higher.
"He's fairly cruising," I said.
"He's doing a good 72, 73," Snr Sgt Findlater replied.
We continued to follow the cab through traffic over the bridge towards the CBD.
As motorists turned down East St and split into different lanes, we caught up with the cab driver who then accelerated through an orange light.
Snr Sgt Findlater tailed the cab, switched on his lights and siren and it was game over for the speeding cab driver.
We both shared the same frustration when the cab driver carelessly pulled over, right into the driveway of the Queensland Ambulance Service, blocking the path of any emergency services vehicle that needed to exit.
At least he used his indicator this time though.
"Pull up down the lane so we're out of the way of the ambulances," Snr Sgt Findlater called out the window to the cab driver.
With his fine book in hand, Snr Sgt Findlater exited the unmarked car and approached the cab.
A speeding fine, a caution for wearing his seatbelt under his arm instead of across his shoulder and an explanation of why he needed to wear the seatbelt correctly from Snr Sgt Findlater and the careless cab driver was back on his way to make money.
All in a day's work.
A Yellow Cabs' Rockhampton spokesperson was aware of the incident and said Yellow Cabs didn't condone drivers breaching the speed limit or any traffic laws.
OPERATION COLD SNAP
Police have conducted a state-wide school holiday road campaign which winds up tomorrow.
Figures for the Capricornia region, June 26 to July 15, show:
1700 infringement notices
1100 for speeding
70 for mobile phones
More than 16,000 breath tests
60 drink drivers caught (under the Qld average)