Extra focus will be placed on road policing efforts this weekend, as people escape to regional Victoria and make their own long weekend.
Operation Amity will run from midnight, Friday 22 January until 11.59pm, Tuesday 26 January and cover the Australia Day public holiday.
The operation will focus on impaired driving, speeding, fatigue and mobile phone use. Regional Victoria remains a high risk for road trauma, given the increased speeds, longer distances travelled and influx of visitors over the summer season.
Police will be breath and drug testing across the unofficial long weekend at every opportunity. Over the same time period last year Victoria Police caught 233 drink drivers and 141 drug drivers.
Out of the six deaths on Victorian roads this year, early indications suggest that three of those people did not have a seatbelt on. Drivers are reminded the importance of buckling up.
Operation Amity involves all available personnel from local road policing units to general duties and centralised support from other operational policing units.
Quotes attributable to Acting Assistant Commissioner John Fitzpatrick
We know that people will be travelling to holiday destinations, and with this comes more traffic on our rural roads. If you’re driving long distances, take regular breaks and where possible share the driving to avoid fatigue.
If you’re having a few drinks with your mates, make sure you’ve planned how to get home without driving. We want people to have a good time, but do not want to be attending collision scenes where drugs or alcohol is a contributing factor.
Putting on a seatbelt gives you the best chance of survival if involved in a serious collision. Sadly, lives could have been saved if people managed to do this simple task. Whether you are travelling a short distance down the road or on a long journey – always wear a seatbelt. There’s no excuse.