Operation Roadwise targets main causes of road crashes

Sergeant Marty Wallace. (Joe Mastroianni)

Reducing road trauma will be the key focus of Victoria Police’s Operation Roadwise which will run from Friday, December 16 to Tuesday, December 27.

The operation aims to increase driver awareness and journey planning, while reducing road trauma during this high-risk time on our roads.

Westgate Highway Patrol road policing adviser Sergeant Marty Wallace said: “During this Road Policing Operation, Victoria Police will implement a strategically co-ordinated and tactically focused approach targeting the key contributing factors to road trauma.

“Police will be targeting the main causes of fatalities and serious injuries in crashes, including excessive speed, driver distraction, restraint and seat belt non-compliance, fatigue and impaired driving (alcohol and/or drug).

“Police will be out in force to educate drivers and to enforce road rules, with a view to preventing lives lost and serious injuries. Police are watching your speed, are you?

“Motorists will see numerous police units on major arterial roads during this holiday period, and speed cameras will be set up in identified speed and high collision locations throughout the state.

“Those planning to travel during this period can expect to see an increase in vehicles travelling on our major freeways and highways.

“Police will be targeting drivers who attend the end of year work functions as it has been identified that some drivers will take risks whilst they are impaired by alcohol and drugs.

“Drivers should plan their trips, be patient and ensure that they have frequent breaks when driving long distances.

“Road trauma isn’t just about the lives that are lost – it’s about the enormous impact on the community from lost family members, to the emergency service workers who have to deal with these tragedies on a daily basis and to the police who deliver devastating news to loved ones.

“All of the community has a responsibility and a role to play in reducing road trauma.

“Remember, travel so that you arrive at your destination safely and enjoy your Christmas and New Year holiday.”

RoadSafe Westgate Community Road Safety Council chairman Jim Giddings said it has been demonstrated time after time that speed is a contributing factor in most road crashes. Therefore, stay within the speed limit and drive to suit the conditions you face.

“Speeding increases both the risk of a crash happening and the severity of injuries sustained when a crash does happen.”

Mr Giddings said the work of his group along with initiatives like Operation Roadwise during the 2022 Christmas holiday period would hopefully reduce the number of serious road crashes on our roads.

“Road safety is not everyone else’s responsibility. It is yours. If you plan to have a drink, then plan not to drive. The risk of drinking and driving is just not worth endangering your life or those of other road users.

“Before embarking on any driving trips drivers should check their tyres, windscreen washers, indicators, brakes, and lights. So, make sure you and your vehicle are fit for the road.”

He asked the community to report speeding drivers to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.