Holiday safety drive

By Jessica Micallef

Distracted drivers, high speeds and drink-driving will be a focus as police push for safe roads during the festive season.

Macedon Ranges Inspector Chris Large said police would be out in full force as part of the statewide 24-day Operation Roadwise campaign.

Inspector Large said there would be a higher police presence on Victorian roads, including drug and alcohol buses, to encourage safe driving.

“Christmas and New Year is a significantly higher danger period,” Inspector Large said.

Drivers are being encouraged to avoid driving while fatigued, stay off mobile phones, take extra caution on unfamiliar roads and ensure their vehicles are roadworthy.”

Police will use their new, smaller alcohol and drug test buses to target those travelling to and from celebrations in suburban streets.

They will also be out in force at popular holiday destinations in metropolitan and regional areas across the state, including Highway Patrol police carrying out drug testing.

Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said drivers needed to think of their families while driving.

“The festive season is not a time for motorists to get complacent,” Ms Neville said.

“We want to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely and returns home to their families and friends.

“If you’re going to drink, know how you’re going to get home.

“If you’re going on a long road trip, know where and when you’re going to stop along the way.”

Inspector Large said there had been “less fatal collisions on the road this year”, but still urged drivers to remain vigilant.

“Don’t speed,” Mr Large said. “We don’t want anyone becoming a statistic.

“Enjoy this time of the year.”

Operation Roadwise started on Friday, December 14, and will finish on Sunday, January 6.