Police officers across the Goulburn Valley will target driver behaviour to ensure a fatality-free Easter weekend.RIAHN SMITH April 18, 2014 3:29am
Twenty-two people have died on Victorian roads during the Easter holiday period in the past five years.
Two of those lost their lives in a double fatality crash at Pine Lodge near Shepparton in 2010.
In the same period, 1385 people suffered road trauma in crashes across the state, with 528 of them suffering serious injuries.
This Easter, police are renewing their call for driver caution in a co-ordinated effort to drive down the holiday crash toll.
Shepparton police Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeffrey Kyne said officers would be out in force across Victoria as part of Operation Crossroads.
Sgt Kyne said police would be targeting unsafe and illegal driving behaviours including speed, fatigue and driver distraction, as well as alcohol and drug-driving.
He said while the Shepparton police service area was not heavily represented in the statistics, regional neighbours Benalla, Wangaratta and Wodonga ranked in the worst 15 police service areas in the state for road trauma during the Easter period.
But he said although the crashes might not be occurring in significant numbers in the Shepparton area, local people were still at risk on the region’s roads.
‘‘Generally speaking, traffic flow through the Shepparton PSA is through traffic, it’s people heading up to the river for their last boating or camping trip before it gets too cold, or heading to the hills to go off-road motorcycle riding,’’ Sgt Kyne said.
‘‘People are heading to their holiday retreats, often driving hours or distances they don’t usually drive. We see drivers becoming frustrated getting stuck behind caravans or boats and trailers, and overtaking in dangerous circumstances.
‘‘It’s the respect that drivers don’t have for other road users that put people in at-risk situations.’’
Sgt Kyne said drivers should take advantage of the State Emergency Service driver reviver stops and take regular breaks while driving.
‘‘We recommended every two hours, get out walk around, if nothing else, stop there to have a talk to someone who hasn’t been in the car with you all day,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re asking for everyone to be patient, a slight delay behind a vehicle for a period of time, or a short stop to clear your head will probably only make you a couple of minutes late.
‘‘There’s no reset button in this game — enjoy your time with your family over Easter and make sure it’s not your last Easter with them.’’
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
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