File size must be less than 2Mb
You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image
File types (jpg, png, gif)
23 December 2020
By DEAN LAWSON
A flood of traffic across the Wimmera during the Christmas holiday period has police on high alert as they attempt to lessen the incidence of road trauma.
Wimmera Superintendent Ian Milner said back-to-back police operational blitzes would focus on an expected rise in people on regional roads.
“We know it is a holiday season and especially with the challenging year we’ve had, we expect people to be out celebrating and enjoying time with families and friends,” he said.
Article continues below
“But we’re asking people to be safe and be mindful of the road rules. When celebrating, always have a dedicated driver to get people home safely. We don’t want people to put themselves in a situation where they put family, friends or loved ones at risk.”
Mr Milner said Operation Breakup, involving police specifically targeting alcohol and drug driving, was in place and would continue until the end of the year.
Operation Fresh Start would then kick in, where police would zero in on driver issues such as excessive speed, fatigue and distraction.
“I want to see a holiday period that is fatality free. All police members, not just Highway Patrol members, are involved and we’re asking everyone to slow down, take their time and get to destinations safely,” Mr Milner said.
“So don’t be surprised if you get pulled over if doing the wrong thing. Chances are you will be spotted.
“The increased police presence will not only be on the highways, but also other rural and regional roads, which means that you might be taking a short-cut to your destination but there are no short-cuts to safety.
“Everybody has had a challenging year with all the restrictions in place and we expect a lot more people to be on roads.
“People will be travelling away to visit family and places such as the Grampians, our inland waterways and other attractions will be a major magnet for many holiday-makers.
“And with people being unable to travel easily interstate or overseas, there’s also been a big push for regional tourism. All this combines to create increased risk on our roads.”
Mr Milner stressed a need for motorists to be alert and mindful of road and weather conditions.
“It is being aware of anything that can impact safety when driving. When you fail to give driving your full attention, the risks increase dramatically,” he said.
“One of the big issues these days is how often people feel compelled to look at their mobile phones. This represents a proven and significant distraction. It only takes a split second for something to go wrong. That’s why there are hefty fines.”
Mr Milner said a general philosophy for people to ‘look after each other and treat everyone with respect’ when driving, amplified during the holiday period.
“It is a time when there are many people on the road, usually travelling at speed and trying to get to destinations within narrow time frames. What we’re asking is that everyone ensure that safety is their priority, consider others and to avoid taking risks,” he said.
“Western Region Division Four Victoria Police representatives wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas.
“For us and other emergency services it’s a message with profound meaning.”
RELATED: Man dies following crash in Drung
The entire December 23, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire December 23, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!