Road safety

Long weekend road safety blitz

Motorists are urged to be careful on the roads and to plan ahead for the long weekend, after a heartbreaking start to the year.

In just over two months, 54 people have lost their lives on Victorian roads – up from 44 in 2021 – leaving many families, workplaces and communities to mourn the needless loss of a loved one.

After a record low in 2021, deaths in the region have increased by 70%, with 34 lives lost compared to 20 at the same time last year.

Road safety authorities are particularly concerned about the increase in deaths of pedestrians, motorcyclists and young drivers. Pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities are well above the same period last year, and nine young people between the ages of 18 and 20 have lost their lives, more than four times the five-year average.

With March historically being a time of high fatalities on our roads, the state government is calling on all road users to play their part in keeping the roads safe – plan ahead, slow down, don’t drink and don’t drive with drugs, put your phone away and make sure you have the choices.

Victoria Police will be out in force over the long weekend, with Operation Arid targeting behavior such as speeding, distraction and drunk and drug driving and motorcyclist behaviour.

Last year’s Operation Arid detected 2,906 speeding offences, 215 drunk drivers, 195 drugged drivers and 161 disqualified or suspended drivers.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said: “We urge all road users to protect themselves and others on the roads this long weekend. Victoria Police will not tolerate those who do the wrong thing behind the wheel – if you make the wrong decisions, you will be caught.

Assistant Highway Patrol Commissioner Glenn Weir said the Labor Day long weekend was a popular time to travel.

“We will be out with our full contingent of police vehicles to ensure everyone is doing their part to keep themselves and all other road users safe,” he said.

“With such a high number of fatalities so far this year, we will do everything we can to ensure no more lives are lost on Victorian roads.”