EXTRA police will be deployed in the Bendigo region across the long weekend as Victoria Police conducts its second major road operation of the year.
Operation Arid began at 12.01am this morning and runs through until 11.59pm on Monday, with a focus on driver behaviour including speeding, drink and drug driving and mobile phone use.
Police conducted a major operation across the Christmas/new year period and were disappointed with the large amount of infringements recorded.
Victoria Police Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said the Bendigo police service area was one of five priority areas identified as part of the operation.
“Extra resources will be deployed to five priority areas including, Melbourne, Bendigo, Casey and Dandenong, Ballarat and the Mornington Peninsula,” AC Fryer said.
“These areas have been identified after looking at the number of collisions, injuries and volume of trauma over previous years.”
AC Fryers said crashes on regional roads continue to be over-represented in the road toll each year.
He asked those people heading to rivers and regional holiday destinations to plan their journeys and take responsibility for their safety.
“Of the 41 deaths this year, we’ve had 23 on our country roads,” he said.
“We know that country roads by their nature are more dangerous than the city, so we ask everyone to pay attention.
It’s not driving to the posted speed, it’s driving to the conditions.”
Earlier this year, 14 people were found to be drink driving and 12 with drugs in their system, 19 drivers were disqualified or suspended and 164 caught for speeding during Operation Roadwise.
Twelve cars were also impounded by local officers during the new year blitz. Last year’s Operation Arid results included 312 drink drivers, 168 drug drivers, 3208 speeding offences and 488 mobile phone offences being detected across the state.
“Four people also lost their lives during the long weekend period. This year, we want that figure to be zero,” AC Fryers said.
The launch of the operation comes as Victoria Police this week announced the locations at which an additional 825 officers would be deployed over a 12-month period beginning in May.
A total of 300 officers are being allocated to areas with the highest need for policing services, while 208 specialist family violence officers will also be introduced across the state. The Bendigo police service area will see 10 new officers in the specialist family violence roles.
Victoria Police say a number of measures of demand are taken into consideration by the organisation’s staff allocation model, such as calls for assistance, reported crime, event management and traffic incidents.
“This allocation is just the first of 2729 additional police being deployed by July 2022. As with all further rounds, these resources have been allocated to the areas of greatest need, as determined by our staff allocation model,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
“This is a more sophisticated approach than has previously been used to ensure we are getting maximum benefits from the investments made.”
– Joel Peterson