Despite restrictions limiting the movement of Melburnians across the state over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, Victoria Police still detected 4,780 traffic offences and 431 criminal offences as part of the long weekend road policing operation, Operation Regal.
The four-day, state-wide operation saw police targeting high-risk driving behaviour on Victorian roads, including speed, alcohol and drug impaired driving, fatigue, driver distraction and a failure to wear seatbelts.
One in 21 drivers tested returned a positive roadside drug test, while a further 170 drivers were detected with alcohol in their system.
Police also detected 1,998 speeding motorists, issued 166 fines for using a mobile phone while driving, and intercepted 318 disqualified, suspended or unlicenced drivers on Victorian roads.
Notable detections over the weekend included a 53-year-old woman caught driving at more than three times the legal limit by Cheltenham police, a 36-year-old woman caught 50km/h over the speed limit on the Western Freeway near Gordon who also tested positive to a roadside drug test, and a 43-year-old Garfield man who was detected speeding at 50km/h over the limit on the Princes Highway.
There was one life lost over the weekend following a fatal collision in Moorooduc on Friday morning, bringing the total lives lost to 98 this year.
Despite 15 people losing their lives this year in collisions where a failure to wear a seatbelt was a factor, police unfortunately still intercepted and fined 78 people for not buckling up behind the wheel.
A full summary of offences detected from Operation Regal include:
• 170 BAC offences from 56,719 preliminary breath tests
• 170 drug test offences from 3,510 roadside drug tests
• 157 disqualified/suspended drivers
• 161 unlicensed drivers
• 519 unregistered vehicles
• 1,998 speeding offences
• 166 mobile phone offences
• 252 disobey signs/signals
• 77 vehicle impounds
• 78 seatbelt offences
Operation Regal was conducted from 12:01am Friday 11 June to 11:59pm Monday 14 June 2021.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Libby Murphy:
“Sadly, we have seen one life lost over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend – a 56-year-old male passenger who died as a result of a fatal collision with a vehicle attempting to overtake in Moorooduc”
“While this is the lowest number of fatalities seen over a Queen’s Birthday weekend since 2017, one life lost on our roads is still too many”
“Whether speed, distraction, disobeying road rules, not wearing a seatbelt, fatigue or impairment from alcohol or drugs is at play, road trauma can be avoided”
“We cannot be complacent when driving. Everyone must take responsibility for their actions on our roads”
“As restrictions continue to ease across Victoria, we will see more motorists returning to our roads. We are urging you to please slow down, consider other road users and don’t take unnecessary and irresponsible risks. We want everyone to return home safely”
“Police will continue to be highly visible and enforcing on Victorian roads over the coming weeks as restrictions ease and the July Victorian school holiday period commences”