Operation Arid kicks off on Friday as police prepare for Victorians to embrace the great outdoors across the Labour Day long weekend, warning that traffic volumes and recreational activities are expected to impact road trauma.
Long distance road trips, cycling and motorbike riding, day trips and recreational activities such as camping and hiking in national parks are all forming part of the predictions for an increase in lives lost on Victorian roads over the weekend.
Officers are expecting a high volume of vehicles peeling off the main arterials to travel to campgrounds along feeder roads.
In addition, cyclists and motorcyclists are among the vulnerable across the weekend, with favourable weather conditions expected to see people go for prolonged rides and challenge their ability on unfamiliar roads.
With people able to catch up for celebrations and some events back on around the state, police are also anticipating that people will make the decision to get behind the wheel while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Operation Arid will target priority areas across the eastern and western corridors, popular holiday destinations such as the Surf Coast and Mornington Peninsula, as well as metro Melbourne from Kensington to St Kilda with the aim of reducing the incidence and severity of road trauma on high-use roads.
Operation Arid will run from 12.01 am on Friday 5 March to 11.59pm on Monday 8 March.
Quotes attributable to Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy
“We are expecting an increase in traffic volumes along roads that lead to national parks, as well as on and around highways. With Victorians heading out camping, hiking and enjoying our state, we anticipate that people will be driving on roads that are unfamiliar and in conditions that come with risks.
“With some events back on, we know people like to have a few drinks with their friends or choose to take illicit substances. Unfortunately, this often translates to people getting behind the wheel while impaired. Our message to those who choose to do this is that we will be extra vigilant; any unusual driving behaviour or breach of a road rule could indicate the driver shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
“Police will use every opportunity to be visible, to intercept and to educate drivers. If you see a police car along a major arterial or road that leads to your campground, we hope you will think twice before engaging in risky behaviour later in your journey or across the weekend. We cannot be everywhere, but we ask that people take responsibility and help us ensure that everyone makes it home to their loved ones this long weekend.”
Senior Communications Advisor