Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Drivers praised in Benalla district

Benalla police praise road users in the region for taking greater care on the roads after a four-day blitz during the long weekend.

MONIQUE FREER March 12, 2014 9:05am

Motorists are being praised by Benalla police for taking greater care on the roads after a four-day blitz during the long weekend.

Benalla police took part in Operation Arid as part of a statewide blitz to promote road safety during the Labour Day long weekend.

Benalla Police Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Steve Delaney said despite the long weekend being a high risk period on Victorian roads, the Benalla district fared well this year.

‘‘Over the last four years, five years, we’ve had some fairly serious injury and collision rates but this year we’ve fared very well, we haven’t actually had any serious injuries or collisions,’’ Sgt Delaney said.

Sgt Delaney said Benalla Highway Patrol officers issued 186 enforcement notices and two court dates for suspended driving between March 7 and 10.

‘‘The majority of those are speed related, probably 95 to 99 per cent are speed, unfortunately,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s still disappointing that we have to deal with that level of enforcement in relation to speed.

‘‘The message still needs to get out there that speed kills and that Victoria Police are taking a strong stance against speeding.’’

However, Sgt Delaney said overall motorists in the Benalla district appeared to take greater care on the roads this year.

‘‘Motorists are perhaps more informed and more aware of their responsibilities as drivers,’’ Sgt Delaney said.

‘‘The road traffic policing unit from Melbourne were up on the weekend as well. With our presence and their presence, that would have had an impact on drivers ... that highly visible police presence on the road.’’

Benalla police also assisted the Melbourne drug and alcohol mobile testing site and conducted a number of breath and drug tests across Benalla during the long weekend.

In a horror Labour Day long weekend on Victoria’s roads, there were eight deaths including a quadruple fatality at Burramboot, south-east of Rochester.

Between 2009 and 2013, 13 people died on Victorian roads during the same period.

Operation Arid targeted high-risk areas including the Bass Coast, Bendigo, Brimbank, Casey, Frankston, Latrobe, Wangaratta, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges.

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