Don’t be a holiday statistic, police warn

As usual, police will be out in force during the Christmas break.

Police are expecting about a dozen people will be killed on Victoria’s roads between now and January 3.

Melton police warned drivers not to become one of them as they launched their Christmas holiday Roadwise Campaign at the weekend.

Sergeant Cameron Scott urged drivers to be vigilant on the roads and monitor their alcohol consumption.

“People are on holiday and schools are out, and that’s when families do long kilometres, long hours and long drives to holiday destinations,” he said. “Fatigue kicks in or you get reckless behaviour from people going to family functions and having one too many drinks.”

Uniformed and highway patrol officers will be out in full force over the next three weeks, targeting speed, drink and drug-driving and distraction.

Sergeant Scott said Melton should expect to see a higher number of marked and unmarked police cars across the municipality, including on highways and suburban streets.

“Twenty per cent of the population will drive recklessly regardless of the time of year, but just stop and think about where you’re going and what you could do,” he said. “Often it’s an innocent person going about the day lawfully who becomes a statistic.”

Focus on speed

Police will focus heavily on speed enforcement during the campaign.

Sergeant Scott said the number of drug- affected drivers had overtaken drink-drivers across Victoria. And it’s the same story in Melton.

“In Brimbank, Wyndham and Melton, we have high proportions of drink and drug-driving, specifically methamphetamine, which includes ‘ice’, and cannabis,” he said.

“And that’s partly because our highway patrol has more readily accessible drug-testing equipment that’s local to us. Previously, that wasn’t the case.”

Sergeant Scott urged people to look out for each other and not let anyone affected by alcohol or drugs to get behind the wheel.

“Speak up,” Sergeant Scott said. “We want to make the roads as safe as possible. We acknowledge that people do make mistakes; it’s those mistakes we’re trying to prevent.

“Drivers, be patient. Give yourselves plenty of time to get where you’re going and do regular pit stops. Don’t be a statistic.”