Summer police blitz on roads as death toll climbs

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More police will patrol local roads this summer as part of a state-wide blitz, according to a traffic officer.

The “enhanced police enforcement operations” would cover 13 December to 3 January, Geelong Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Shane Coles said.

The operation was in response to a “particularly bad” road toll this year, he said.

“Four have been killed on Geelong roads and unfortunately 10 have died on the Surf Coast.

“I want to do away with the term ‘road toll’. These are real people with real families and there will be a loved one missing at the Christmas table.”

Sen Sgt Coles said police would target major roads and highways, with booze buses out in force around New Year’s Eve.

Police would “hit local towns with force” and target bad driving along the Great Ocean Road, he said.

Marked and unmarked police motorbikes would patrol high risk areas for recreational accidents, such as the Otways.

A spokesperson said the Traffic Accident Commission (TAC) had provided police with funding to boost road patrols.

“This money funds overtime hours, meaning police can increase their focus on improving driver behaviour without interfering with their normal policing operations,” the spokesperson said.

“The TAC will run a campaign over the summer period to help the community understand that police are out there to protect them and keep them safe so they can celebrate the holiday period with their loved ones.”

New TAC research reveals that on-road motorcycle crashes are more likely as the seasons warm.

“With warmer weather already here, the findings highlight the need for greater caution by riders and drivers, as more motorcyclists take advantage of the favourable riding conditions,“ the TAC research said.

“Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable and are over-represented in injury statistics. We don’t want this summer or the coming holiday season to be marred by trauma.”

Originally published at Geelong Independent.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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