Police on bicycles nab crook fleeing in car

A car driver with stolen loot in his car was chased and caught by Melbourne Bike Patrol officers.

The Bike Squad members working in Operation HALO spotted the black Ford Falcon without number plates travelling north on Elizabeth Street and directed the driver to stop.When he did not stop, the officers chased it along Elizabeth St, during which the driver went through three red lights and on to the wrong side of the road.

They lost sight of the vehicle at Peel Street but later managed to intercept it at Flemington Road and Harker Street in North Melbourne and arrest the driver.

The 38-year-old driver was charged with driving in a manner dangerous, evading police, resisting arrest and handling stolen goods and his vehicle was impounded under hoon laws.

Operation HALO concentrated on the factors in crashes involving vulnerable road users — cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, co-ordinator Sen. Sgt Dale Johnstone said.

About 100 police worked each day in peak commuter times at high-collision locations in the city and inner suburbs.

Using a bicycle lane got 165 motorcyclists pinged.

Cyclists copped 613 tickets – 351 for failing to wear a helmet, 40 for riding on a footpath and 184 for disobeying a traffic light or signs.

All up, police issued tickets for 6365 offences which could have contributed to pedestrian, cyclist and motorcycle road trauma, Operation HALO co-ordinator Sen. Sgt Dale Johnstone said.

The biggest single offence was using a mobile phone – 1509.

There were 607 pedestrians busted for offences, 555 of them for disobeying a traffic light or sign.

Motorcyclists got 429 tickets – including 165 for riding in bicycle lane, 31 for disobeying traffic lights or signs and 15 for failing to give a signal.

Truck and car drivers scored 4716 offences, including 1509 for using a mobile phone, 650 for disobeying traffic lights or signs, 61 for driving in a bicycle lane, 21 diverging when it was unsafe and 26 for failing to give way.
Sen. Sgt Johnstone said police now would evaluate the impact of the operation by analysing road trauma patterns in inner Melbourne throughout February.

“Operation Halo is the first large scale operation ran by Victoria Police targeting road trauma involving our vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians,” he said.

“That didn’t mean that we are targeting these road users – what our police were targeting were the factors behind road trauma involving vulnerable road users.

“For example pedestrians crossing against a red light, cyclists not wearing a helmet, motorcycle riders travelling in bicycle lanes and cars and trucks driving while using a mobile phone.

“Overall, most road users were doing the right thing, but the fact that we issued more than 6000 infringements shows that there is still a large number of people putting themselves and other at risk.

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