• Statewide blitz to promote road safety during the Labour Day long weekend
• Victorian Coalition Government committed to 1,700 additional police by November
• Coalition Government building a safer Victoria
Speeding, dangerous driving and drug or alcohol-affected drivers will be targeted in a major Victoria Police operation this Labour Day long weekend.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells was joined by Victoria Police to launch Operation Arid as part of a four-day statewide blitz to promote road safety during the Labour Day long weekend.
“Operation Arid will deliver a highly visible police presence over the holiday period in a bid to reduce road trauma across the state and keep Victorians safe this long weekend,” Mr Wells said.
“I urge everyone to slow down and avoid tragedy on the roads this Labour day long weekend where there is often a spike in road trauma.
“Sadly this is a high-risk time, with Victoria Police records revealing a higher rate of road trauma over the past five years during this long weekend, compared with other weekends around this time.”
Over the past five years, 13 people have died on Victorian roads over the Labour Day long weekend.
“Our message is simple. If you drive safely, you won’t cop the pain of injury or a financial penalty,” Mr Wells said.
“Road trauma is preventable. I encourage all drivers to plan their journey, obey the road rules and reduce the likelihood of having an accident.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has a clear law and order agenda and we support Victoria Police in its effort to make our roads as safe as possible.
“At a cost of $602 million we’ve committed to deliver 1,700 additional police by November this year, with more than 1,200 extra police now protecting our community.”
Mr Wells said the Coalition Government continued to work with the community and make progress on reducing the road toll and its dreadful impact.
“Victoria last year recorded its lowest road toll since 1952 with 242 fatalities, 40 fewer than 2012,” Mr Wells said.
“This year however, the road toll currently stands at 49, which is ten more deaths compared with the same time last year.
“We know there is still a long way to go, so we are urging drivers to take care on the roads this weekend and ensure they return to their loved ones safely.”
Operation Arid will target high-risk areas including the Bass Coast, Benalla, Bendigo, Brimbank, Casey, Frankston, Latrobe, Wangaratta, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges areas. VicRoads’ officers will also target major arterial routes.
Operation Arid will begin tomorrow (Friday 7 March) and run until Monday 10 March 2014.
Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048