High-speed pursuits anger police

POLICE are appalled that young drivers continue to place innocent lives at risk after the third high-speed pursuit on the Northern Rivers in a week.

Highway patrol officers doing speed checks on the Ballina bypass at Cumbalum spotted a south-bound Ford Falcon doing 130km/h in a 100km/h zone about 5.50pm on Monday.

Acting Inspector Mick Smith of the Richmond Local Area Command said officers signalled for the car to pull over, which it did.

However, when officers approached, the Falcon took off at high speed.

Police pursued the car south on the Pacific Hwy for 16 km.

A/Insp Smith said speeds of up to 180km h were reached during the pursuit which ended when the 18-year-old learner driver from Queensland pulled over just north of Broadwater and surrendered to police.

The teenager was taken back to Ballina Police Station where he was charged with seven offences including not stopping in a police pursuit (Skye's law), negligent driving and not displaying L plates.

He was granted conditional bail and ordered to appear in Ballina Local court on May 31.

This is the second learner-driver involved in a police pursuit in a week.

A pursuit last Tuesday involving a learner-driver from Queensland with speeds reaching approximately 200km/h, ended in a crash at Ballina.

Another high-speed chase on Wednesday last week was also alleged to have involved speeds of more than 200km/h and ended in a crash near the Harwood Bridge.

A/Insp Smith said he found it astonishing that young people continued to place their lives plus the lives of innocent motorists and police at risk by driving at such high speeds.

"It is very frustrating to senior police that the people have been inexperienced drivers placing their lives, the lives of police and other motorists at risk," he said.

He said police would continue to engage in high-speed pursuits and every pursuit had been reviewed by a duty officer after it had occurred.

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