Dangerous drivers caught on camera

Leading Senior Constable Brett McGrath from Macedon Ranges Highway Patrol helped out with the filming of Network 7’s popular TV show Highway Patrol.

Dangerous drivers in Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges were caught on camera last weekend as popular TV show Highway Patrol stopped traffic in Kyneton, Woodend, Gisborne and Castlemaine. 

Leading Senior Constable Brett Magrath from the Macedon Ranges Highway Patrol was involved in the filming of the reality TV series, which has been following members of the Bendigo Police Highway Patrol for the past few weeks as they intercept traffic and other criminal offenders on roads in Victoria. 

When approached to be in the show, Magrath decided he’d rather stay out of the spotlight, opting to drive the support vehicle, as Macedon Ranges Sergeant Leigh Clayton and Sergeant Mick McCrann from Bendigo, took the lead. 

The first car caught in the Macedon Ranges on Friday was an unlicensed driver whose car was impounded. Saturday morning in Castlemaine saw a 20-year-old local man caught using his mobile phone and a woman in her 70s getting pulled over for not having her seat belt on. 

“It was the woman’s first infringement so they did the nice thing and let her off with a warning,” Magrath told the Express

A few local drivers were caught on camera during TV series Highway Patrol’s filming in Castlemaine last Saturday.

According to Magrath, the front highway patrol crew see the offence and pull the car over, wait for the cameraman to come up with the contact officers who talk to the driver and ask if they’re happy to be filmed. If the driver agrees they continue filming, otherwise filming is stopped. 

“I had one person come over to me complaining about the use of police resources, but the production company pays for police services,” he said. 

Magrath has worked highway patrol in Melbourne, Hamilton and Kyneton for the past 20 years and said a lot had changed over that time. 

“When I first started there was a lot of people going 20- 30km/h over the speed limit and there were more seat belt infringements and unroadworthy cars, but now the general public keeps their speed down and 99 per cent of people put their seat belts on,” he said. 

“We still get the same amount of distracted and drunk drivers, but with the introduction of new technology, we test for drug driving a lot. 

“People used to get caught for using their phones, but they would just pay the $100 fine. Over the years the fine has increased to $400 and four demerit points, so that has changed driver behaviour.” 

Working highway patrol for so many years, Magrath has witnessed every type of behaviour imaginable, including a large number of drivers doing nothing wrong, who slam on their brakes when they see the highway patrol car. 

“About 70 per cent of people are pleasant and say thank you, 20 per cent are grumpy, nodding and answering, eight per cent are surly and two per cent are downright awful,” he said. 

Magrath said the Highway Patrol TV crew still had filming to do across the state, so it might take anywhere up to a year for people to catch the local edition of show, but in the meantime, if you see two highway patrol cars bunched up there’s a good chance something illegal is about to be caught on film!