Melton police target rural roads

06/04/2017. Melton/Moorabool Star Weekly. Operation. Issue Date 11/04. Melton Police Station. Melton Highway Patrol will be out on several rural roads targeting speed for the next two months as part of a TAC-funded operation. Pictured is Sergeant Chris Stuhldreier. Picture Shawn Smits.

Extra police will be out on some of Melton’s highest risk rural roads as the highway patrol increases its efforts to target speeding drivers and lower the road toll.

As part of the TAC-funded Operation Hare, police will target Hopkins Road in Truganina, Melton Highway in Plumpton, Diggers Rest-Coimadai Road in Toolern Vale, Gisborne-Melton Road in Toolern Vale and Vineyard Road in Diggers Rest.

Sergeant Chris Stuhldreier said there had been high levels of road trauma along those roads.

While speed hasn’t been the only factor, Sergeant Stuhldreier said rural roads continued to be over represented in crash statistics.

“People tend to get easily distracted on rural roads, they run off the roads, there are intersecting roads [that they don’t stop at] … there are animals, the weather and that combined with speed, the results aren’t good.”

TAC road safety director Samantha Cockfield said although those roads had been identified as high risk, they’re not the only roads police will be targeting.

“No one deserves to die or be seriously hurt on the roads, so we’re urging everyone to think about the choices they make every time they get behind the wheel,” Ms Cockfield said.

Speed accounts for about a third of all road deaths and about one-in-five drivers killed have an illegal blood alcohol level, according to the TAC.

In the five years to April 5, 2017, 27 people have been killed on Melton roads, with three deaths since the start of this year.

“Plan your trip, make sure you’re not fatigued or affected by any substance, drive within your capabilities, but also within the speed zones,” Sergeant Stuhldreier said.