Motorists to get the royal treatment

Police will be out in force over the long weekend.

Police will be out in force across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend as part of Operation Regal, a four-day operation targeting high-risk driving behaviour on Victorian roads.

The state-wide operation, which runs from 12.01am on Friday 11 June to 11.59pm Monday 14 June, will run in conjunction with Operation Sentinel, which is currently limiting the movement of Melburnians into regional Victoria to prevent the spread of the recent coronavirus outbreak.

While people living in metropolitan Melbourne will be banned from travelling into regional Victoria this long weekend, police are still preparing for regional Victorians to hit the road in high numbers.

Victoria Police are reminding all motorists about the increased driving dangers associated with long weekend travel and have warned that with potentially less traffic than normal, the increase of high-risk driving behaviour such as speeding is even more likely.

The eastern region, which includes Casey, has been identified as high-risk ahead of the long weekend and Senior Constable Paul Holland from Casey Highway Patrol said road users in the region could expect to see a “bolstered police force”.

He said while coronavirus restrictions could mean less traffic on the roads than usual, high-risk behaviour was still likely.

“We’re encouraging members of the public not to make irresponsible decisions behind the wheel so they don’t become an unnecessary statistic on our roads.”

Operation Regal will see police targeting speed, alcohol and drug impaired driving, fatigue, driver distraction and a failure to wear seatbelts.

There have been 94 lives lost on Victorian roads to date in 2021, with 50 per cent of fatalities occurring on roads in country or regional Victoria and one-third attributed to excessive or inappropriate speed.

Police are urging motorists to slow down, consider other road users and be patient when driving in traffic, on unfamiliar roads and in potentially poor weather conditions.

Snr Const Holland said poor weather conditions – including damaging winds, heavy rain, snow and potential flooding – were a big concern for police this weekend.

He recommended drivers slow down, leave space between themselves and the next driver, turn their headlights on and avoid being on the roads unless necessary to minimise the risk.

“No one needs to die,” he said.

“We just want everyone to get home safe. Everyone has someone who cares about them.”

Over the past five Queen’s Birthday long weekends, there have been 17 lives lost on our roads and a further 980 people injured.

A total of 48,811 traffic and criminal offences have been detected, including 25,719 for speeding.

With over 588,000 alcohol and drugs tests conducted over five previous Queen’s Birthday operations, police have issued a stern warning to motorists considering drinking or taking drugs and driving this long weekend – you will get caught.

Operation Regal will involve personnel from all local road policing units, general duties, and other operational policing units, with targeted deployment of mobile speed cameras, Automated Number Plate Recognition vehicles and Victoria Police’s fleet of Alcohol and Drug Testing vehicles.

For more information and tips for staying safe on the road this long weekend, visit the Road Safety page on the Victoria Police website.