Driver crackdown ‘success’

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Police have declared their Queen’s Birthday long weekend traffic blitz a “success” on Casey roads.

In contrast to a horror local road toll in 2017, there were no fatalities or serious injuries recorded in Casey during Operation Regal on 8-11 June.

However, there were 171 drivers issued with penalty notices for offences such as excessive speeding, using mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts and driving unlicenced.

Seven drivers were charged with drink-driving from more than 1500 preliminary drug and alcohol tests, Senior Sergeant Hafiz Mayar, of Casey Highway Patrol, said.

“The campaign aimed to reduce the incidence and severity of road trauma across Victoria and in Casey.

“It was constructed to ensure all Victorians can travel safely to and from their destinations in the holiday period.”

The “highly visible” police presence targeted impaired driving, excessive speed, distracted drivers and compliance with seatbelts, Sen Sgt Mayar said.

It also focused on known black-spots and high-collision areas.

The clear sheet comes after 10 people have died on Casey’s roads in the past 18 months.

Add to that a further 17 road deaths in Greater Dandenong and Cardinia in the same period.

“The success of this operation was fortunately there wasn’t any serious injuries or fatalities in Casey PSA,” Sen Sgt Mayar said.

Statewide, there were more than 8500 offences – including 227 drink-drivers and 148 drug-drivers.

Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer, who overseas Victoria Police’s road policing, was particularly concerned by the numbers of impaired drivers.

“We’ve seen the impact drugs and alcohol have on our roads so to get behind the wheel impaired – I just don’t get it.”

More than 540 motorists were detected driving suspended, disqualified or unlicensed.

Soberingly, five Victorians died on state roads during the long weekend.

“Our police have had to knock on five doors this weekend and deliver an unimaginable message,” Asst Comm Fryer said.

“I feel for the families, friends and extended community impacted and also our police officers; attending collisions at all times of the day and night.”

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