Victoria Police reminds the public to be safe on state roads during the long weekend – and after.
Police will be patrolling Victoria’s major roads and motorways across the Melbourne Cup long weekend as travel restrictions continue to ease.
Operation Compass will run across the country in two phases, from kl. 12.01 Friday 29 October to kl. 23.59 on Tuesday 2 November and from kl. 12.01 Friday 5 November to kl. 23:59 on Sunday 7 November.
Victoria is set to reach the 80 per cent vaccination milestone in days, and travel restrictions between the metropolitan area of Melbourne and the Victoria region will be lifted at 18.00 Friday 29 October.
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Police expect an influx of travelers to regional areas and tourism hotspots.
Officers warn drivers of increased traffic combined with long hours behind the wheel and a deterioration in driving skills can be a recipe for disaster.
Motorists are encouraged to slow down and be extra careful, and the roads must be the busiest for several months.
Eleven lives were lost on Victorian roads last year when the blockade lifted and police are determined to avoid a repeat.
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There have already been 190 deaths on Victorian roads in 2021, which is well over the same time last year (178).
Following the recent easing of restrictions in the Victoria region, there were at least four fatal collisions in five days and several personal injury collisions where drink-driving was suspected.
Police are urging Victorians enjoying the end of lockdown parties to think twice before getting drunk and getting behind the wheel.
Operation Compass will see police target speed, distraction, fatigue and hampered driving in high-risk areas. They will be highly visible on large arteries, including Princes Fwy, Calder Fwy, Hume Hwy and Western Hwy.
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The operation will involve all available personnel across the Victoria Police, including regional motorway patrols, plus the State Highway Patrol, Heavy Vehicle Unit, Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section and Public Order Response Team.
“The Victorians have done a fantastic job in the fight against COVID-19. But there is no point in surviving the pandemic if you end up dying or seriously injured in a car accident,” said Assistant Commissioner for Road Police Glenn Weir.
“The next fourteen days are a perfect storm on our roads. Many of us have not driven long distances in several months. Our skills have deteriorated and there will be a huge amount of traffic when people flee the city and go to the regional Victoria.
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“Victoria Police will do anything to protect people. You will see highway patrol cars, you will see drug and alcohol buses, you will see our motorcycles, and you will see our frontline patrol units.
“Please, help us make this time memorable for all the right reasons. Trauma on the way can be prevented and we do not want to see others become an unnecessary statistic.”
For more information and tips for staying safe on the roads this long weekend, visit the road safety page on the Victoria Police website.
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