Victoria Police has launched its Summer Stay road enforcement campaign to keep you safe on the roads.MEG PIGRAM November 21, 2012 9:20am
If you were thinking of drink-driving this summer, take Benalla Highway Patrol Sergeant Darren Wittingslow’s word very seriously.
This comes just days after Victoria Police kicked off its Summer Stay road enforcement campaign across the state. The highly visible campaign will branch off into four different operations, including Operation RAID (Remove All Impaired Drivers) which is a cross-border campaign with NSW and South Australian police. The operation came into effect last Friday and will run until December 9, followed by Operation Break Up which will focus on high risk pre-Christmas factors including drink and drug driving, speed, fatigue and other driver distractions.
Sgt Wittingslow said during the next eight weeks police — highway patrol and general duties — would saturate the region’s biggest roads from the Freeway to the Midland Highway and out as far as the Goulburn Valley Highway, focusing on speed, fatigue, alcohol and restraint offences.
‘‘Highway patrol officers will be working staggered shifts through the night and will cover the Hume Fwy, the Midland Hwy and all roads in between,’’ he said.
‘‘All available highway patrol and general duties police will be conducting traffic tasks throughout their shifts.’’
And that’s just the beginning.
‘‘We will dramatically be upping our random breath testing as well.’’
This means all police vehicles can, at any time, stop drivers and test them for alcohol and drugs.
‘‘We will target speed and fatigue, as we know they are a major cause of road trauma,’’ Sgt Wittingslow said.
But don’t think Sgt Wittingslow and his crew want you to miss out on Christmas and New Year festivities.
‘‘By all means have a good time, but if you plan to drink, then plan ahead, have a designated driver or find an alternative way home,’’ he said.
Sgt Wittingslow’s warnings come after a horror year on Victorian roads, in which 34 people died in October alone — the most in any month since March 2011.
The current Victorian road tolls stands at 251 — a four per cent increase on last year.
Sgt Wittingslow’s claims have been reinforced by Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill, who said this time of year was about going on holidays.
‘‘We’ll be using Automatic Number Plate Recognition, drug and booze buses, mobile speed cameras, marked and unmarked police cars and motorbikes, so there’ll be nowhere to hide if you shouldn’t be on the road,” he said.
‘‘If you have a long drive ahead or know you’ll be travelling on unfamiliar roads, plan the best route, take regular breaks and avoid distractions behind the wheel,’’ Asst Comm Hill said.
Sgt Wittingslow agrees.
‘‘Take regular breaks and eat healthily on the go.’’
Greater Shepparton City Council has responded to a Facebook post slamming the organisation’s pound euthanasia rate.
The Australian Cricket Association has made the decision to postpone the Masters events scheduled for Yarrawonga this weekend in light of the serious injury to Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Shaun Burke, Paul Margetts, John McPherson, Peter Nesbitt and Keith Baillie spoke at Tuesday's Campaspe Shire White Ribbon Day event.
Rochester Secondary College students have finished their final exams, taking the time to relax.
Candidate for Northern Victoria Robert Danielli lays out the issues facing the region
The porblems of recent years hopefully a thing of the past.
No luck for Finley in Murray Valley cricket.
Heathcote and District Community Bank Scholarship recipient Tarlyn Grant is encouraging others to apply
A soaring new sculpture is on track to bring pride, visitors and environmental awareness to Katamatite.
SunRice chair Gerry Lawson announced his pending retirement from the board overnight.
A spring Future Orchards walks will be held at Coomboona on Friday November 28 from 9.30am.
The surpsingly vindictive but highly satisfying sport of croquet is being enjoyed by more residents of Benalla the the Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.