‘We won’t hesitate’: Police ramp up road presence for long weekend

Victoria Police road policing assistant commissioner Glenn Weir said officers will make no apologies for stopping drivers and enforcing safety over the long weekend. Picture: ROB CAREW. 316738_08

Police are warning motorists to prepare for a busy period on Victorian roads as a statewide road policing effort kicks off for the Australia Day long weekend.

Operation Amity, which commences today, will see police highly visible and enforcing across major roads and highways across the state, in an effort to reduce road trauma.

“It’s going to be busy, so take it easy, be courteous to other road users, and most importantly, allow extra travel time so you aren’t speeding to reach your destination,” Road Policing Assistant Commissioner, Glenn Weir said.

“Not only is speeding the most common factor in fatal and serious injury collisions, but it continues to be the penalty we issue the most infringements for – and it’s completely avoidable.”

With the return of school next week, police are cautioning all road users to prepare for an influx of traffic as many Victorians hit the road for the last long weekend of the January holiday period.

Speeding drivers will be a major focus for police during the operation, with excessive or inappropriate speed contributing to a quarter of all fatal collisions in 2023.

Police detected 7,631 speeding offences during recent Operation Roadwise over the Christmas and New Year period with the majority of those caught between 10km/h and 25km/h over the speed limit, attracting a $385 penalty and three demerit points.

There will also be zero tolerance for drink and drug driving over the long weekend, with police saying motorists should expect to be tested at one of many alcohol and drug testing sites operating across the state.

“While this might slow you down on your travels, we make no apologies for this,” AC Weir said.

“We need to keep all road users accountable, and we won’t hesitate to penalise you if you’re caught breaking the road rules this weekend”.

During last year’s Operation Amity over five days, police conducted 114,973 preliminary breath tests and 2,730 roadside drug tests, with 225 drink drivers and 198 drug drivers detected.

In 2023, January saw a particularly high number of fatal collisions with 32 lives lost for the month, and while there has been less trauma so far in 2024, police say this should not be cause for complacency.

Operation Amity will run statewide from 12:01am Thursday 25 January to 11:15pm Sunday 28 January.

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