Police sadly didn’t back a winner on the roads this spring racing carnival with hundreds of motorists continuing to take senseless risks during the Melbourne Cup weekend.
Operation Furlong, a state-wide operation targeting poor driver behaviour, saw police detect more than 10,900 traffic and 925 criminal offences over a five-day period.
Offences were on the rise across the state compared to last year’s operation, with police recording 302 seatbelt offences, up from 241 last year; 4200 speeding offences, up from 3346; and 662 mobile phone offences, up from 577.
Impaired driving remained a concern, with 250 drink driving and 271 drug driving offences detected.
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said police were frustrated to see people still gambling with their own and others’ lives on the road.
“We shouldn’t have to remind people of the dangers of drink and drug driving, of not wearing seatbelts, of using your phone while driving, yet here we are again seeing people blatantly disregarding the law,” AC Leane said.
“Operation Furlong may now be over but enforcement doesn’t stop; until the message sinks in, our officers will continue breath and drug testing drivers and speed-checking vehicles to keep our roads safe.”
Sadly, two people also lost their lives during the operation in separate incidents in Moorooduc and Werribee South.
“Our thoughts go out to those families at what will undoubtedly be a difficult time and unfortunately one they will associate with the Melbourne Cup for years to come,” AC Leane said.
“No one deserves to lose a loved one in these circumstances and we need everyone to play their part in keeping our roads safe.”
General offences detected during Operation Furlong include:
• 217 disqualified/suspended drivers and riders
• 388 unlicensed drivers/riders
• 1109 unregistered vehicles
• 4200 speeding offences
• 662 mobile phone offences
• 703 disobey signs/signals
• 160 vehicle impounds
• 302 seat belt offences
Operation Furlong ran from 12.01am on Friday 1 November to 11.59pm on Tuesday 5 November.