Misguided motorists caught during Operation Compass

Almost 3900 motorists were detected speeding on Victorian roads during an eight-day safety blitz.

Operation Compass saw Victoria Police ramp up patrols over Melbourne Cup week, which coincided with travel restrictions lifting between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Police targeted major roads and highways leading to regional areas and tourism hotspots – with a high number of detections recorded in Banyule (449), Wangaratta (308), Geelong (278), Cardinia (259) and Latrobe (223).

A total of 8641 traffic offences were detected across the state, and a further 523 were caught for alcohol or drug-related driving offences.

Speeding made up 45 per cent of all offences detected, with 3077 motorists caught speeding between 10km/h and 25km/h over the speed limit.

Notable detections during Operation Compass included:

• A 46-year-old Doncaster man whose Porsche was impounded after allegedly travelling 155km/h in an 80km/h zone on a section of the Western Ring Road.

• Two men detected speeding in a 70km/h zone on Yan Yean Road, Plenty, including an 18-year-old South Morang man whose licence was suspended after he was caught speeding at 114km/h, and a 28-year-old Mernda man whose vehicle was impounded after it was detected speeding at 119km/h.

• A 20-year-old Wollert man whose motorcycle was impounded after travelling 114km/h in a 60km/h zone on Oherns Road in Epping.

Police also issued 343 fines to motorists caught using a mobile phone while driving, intercepted 541 disqualified or unlicenced drivers, identified 861 unregistered vehicles and impounded 176 vehicles.

Sadly there have been a further nine lives lost since Friday 29 October, with fatal collisions at Wangaratta, Illawarra, Wattle Flat, Rosebud, Northwood, Newborough, Heathcote and Hoppers Crossing, bringing the total lives lost to 200 this year, compared with 183 same time last year.

A summary of offences detected from Operation Compass include:

• 291 drink driving offences from 77,968 preliminary breath tests

• 232 drug driving offences from 4,374 roadside drug tests

• 260 disqualified/suspended drivers

• 281 unlicensed drivers

• 861 unregistered vehicles

• 3884 speeding offences

• 343 mobile phone offences

• 308 disobey signs/signals

• 139 seatbelt offences

• 176 vehicle impoundments

• 496 defect notices

Operation Compass was conducted in two phases, from 12:01am Friday 29 October to 11:59pm Tuesday 2 November, and from 12:01am Friday 5 November to 11:59pm on Sunday 7 November.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Glenn Weir:

“While it’s great we have regained the ability to travel across the state, it is extremely disappointing police have seen such disregard towards road safety.

“We have caught far too many people undertaking high-risk driving behaviour during this period – the number of people detected speeding at mid-range to high levels is alarming.

“Speed remains the Number 1 contributing factor to fatalities and serious injury collision on our roads. Lives can be saved if people make better choices behind the wheel.

“The speed limits are there to keep people safe, and we will continue to hold motorists who pose a risk to other road users to account. Everyone deserves to arrive at their destination alive.”

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