December 16th, 2022Police to crack down on road trauma this Christmas
Victoria Police say they’ll be doing their best to drive down road trauma during the high-risk Christmas period as Operation Roadwise commenced last week.
The statewide road policing operation, which kicked off on Friday, comes as the number of lives lost in Victoria reaches 236, already surpassing last year’s total of 234 and sitting well above the five-year average of 221.
The operation will see police provide highly visible enforcement on Victoria’s major arterial roads and highways in an effort to reduce road trauma and detect dangerous drivers before someone is hurt.
Police intelligence shows there is an increased risk of impaired driving associated with end-of-year work and social functions, with vulnerable road users like pedestrians also deemed at risk, particularly around busy shopping centre precincts.
Last year almost 130,000 motorists were tested for alcohol and drugs during Operation Roadwise, with police anticipating the increase to a 12-day operation this year from 10 days will likely see even more motorists undergoing tests.
With 40 per cent of last year’s Operation Roadwise infringements issued for speeding, police are reminding motorists to keep the foot off the accelerator to avoid a costly Christmas – the penalty for speeding by more than 10km/h but less than 15km/h is $370 and three demerit points, with those exceeding the speed limit by more than 25km/h facing even more significant penalties and a suspended licence.
Mobile phone use continues to be a major contributor to road trauma, with 536 mobile phone infringements issued to drivers during last year’s operation. The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is $555 and four demerits.
Police are urging motorists not to ignore the warnings around road trauma, with 25 lives lost during December last year.
The operation commences at 12:01am on Friday 16 December and concludes at 23:59pm on Tuesday 27 December.
Police enforcement will continue throughout the New Year period, particularly in coastal locations and holiday hotspots.
For more information and tips for staying safe on the roads during the festive period, visit the Road Safety page on the Victoria Police website.
Quotes attributable to Acting Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Justin Goldsmith:
“The level of road trauma we’re experiencing this year is quite alarming – we’ve already surpassed last year’s total lives lost, and concerningly there are still a few weeks remaining in the year. We’re also trending well above the five-year average.
“Nobody is immune from road trauma – it is something that impacts all of us, and it’s up to every road user to do their bit to keep themselves and other road users safe. We don’t want to see anybody else succumb to road trauma this year, particularly at Christmas.
“For those who simply choose to ignore the road rules – your Christmas will be costly. The penalties for speeding, drink and drug driving and using your mobile phone are significant, and we make no apologies for enforcing these rules – it could save someone’s life.”