In Law & Order

Victoria Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells

Police Enforcing Road Safety This Long Weekend

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells has urged Victorians to drive safely and avoid tragedy on the roads this Queens Birthday long weekend.

“We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe this Queens Birthday long weekend.” Mr. Wells said.

“As families head off for their annual long weekend holiday, there will be more vehicles on the road and I urge drivers to stay alert and reach their destinations safely.” Mr. Wells said.

Mr. Wells joined Road Policing Command Operations Superintendent Neville Taylor at a Police operation in Dallas today to launch Operation Regal, which officially kicks off tomorrow and will finish at midnight on Monday.

Operation Regal will see Police out in force on Victoria’s roads to target the main causes of fatalities during holiday periods particularly speed, driver distraction, failing to wear seatbelts, fatigue and sadly drugs and alcohol.” Mr. Wells said.

Along with mobile speed cameras and booze and drug buses, Police will use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology across the state this weekend to track illegal drivers and vehicles.

“These cameras send a message to Victorians that unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles won’t be tolerated on our roads.” Mr. Wells said.

“The ANPR technology operates from a custom-fitted van constantly scanning number plates to detect unregistered vehicles and vehicles connected to unauthorised drivers.”

Since the launch of ANPR in December 2010, the technology has detected in excess of 5,000 people driving while disqualified.

“If you’ve lost your licence it’s for a very good reason, and Police can detect you if you shouldn’t be behind the wheel this weekend.” Mr. Wells said.

Victoria’s State Emergency Service (SES) is also working to reduce the road toll by urging drivers to stop at Driver Reviver roadside operations across the state during the long weekend.

“With an estimated 17 % of motor vehicle fatalities related to fatigue, it is important to remember to take a break every two hours if planning a long drive.” Mr. Wells said.

“Taking a break at one of the Driver Reviver rest stops will help motorists to refresh, stay alert and significantly reduce the likelihood of having an accident.”

Mr. Wells said that last month Victoria recorded its lowest May road toll since records began in 1952.

“While reducing the road toll is our aim, it’s still unacceptable that 18 people lost their lives on Victorian roads last month.” Mr. Wells said.

“The Queen’s Birthday long weekend is one of the busiest times on the state’s roads and sadly, holiday periods are traditionally a time when motorists and their passengers are at greater risk.”

“I encourage all drivers to plan their journey with rest stops, obey the road rules and ensure they reach their destination to enjoy this holiday weekend with family or friends and return home safely.”

The Coalition Government has released a 10-year Road Safety Strategy to further reduce deaths and injuries on our roads.

“Through this strategy we hope to achieve a more than a 30 % reduction in road deaths and injuries over the next decade through a combination of road safety cameras, education, advances in technology and road infrastructure upgrades working to reduce the road toll.” Mr. Wells said.

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