Operation Saturn launches after seven lives lost in one week on Victorian roads

In a shattering week on Victorian roads, seven lives have been lost since 14 October.

With restrictions easing and two upcoming long weekends, Victoria Police are urging the community to drive safely as the dangers on our roads begin to creep back in.

Police are today launching Operation Saturn, a two-and-a-half-week road policing operation that runs from Thursday 22 October to Sunday 8 November 2020.

The state-wide operation will aim to prevent further trauma on our roads caused by dangerous driving in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said Victorians are facing two different but equally dangerous settings on metro and regional roads.

“We expect that road trauma will increase as more people get back on our roads. It is devastating to me that in the last week seven people have already fallen victim to this,” AC Murphy said.

“Operation Saturn comes at a critical time for the Victorian community, with easing of some restrictions coinciding with two long weekends.

“We’re urging everyone to go back to basics. That means buckling up, slowing down, and not driving while impaired.”

During the operation police will be conducting both PBTs and drug tests. As police are deployed in vehicles, the community can expect to see them in locations where the booze buses aren’t typically spotted.

“I want to make it clear that Victoria Police is still conducting PBTs and drug tests,” AC Murphy said.

“We know that the number of drink and drug drivers typically increases on Grand Final weekend and during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“We also know that alcohol consumption has increased during the coronavirus pandemic and are concerned about the impact this will have.”

In metro Melbourne local police and highway patrol will be undertaking patrols to ensure compliance on local roads, as well as the safety of vulnerable road users.

“For those in metro Melbourne, it’s the first time in a while we’ve been able to move further than 5km from home,” AC Murphy said.

“Be patient, exercise caution and drive slowly to ensure that you keep yourself and other road users safe.

“Expect to see vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists around populated areas like parks and beaches and drive accordingly.”

Regional police will be active in and around their communities to prevent serious collisions and trauma that often results from speeding, fatigue or distracted driving.

“We know regional motorists and their passengers are over-represented in serious collisions,” AC Murphy said.

“Despite making up less than a third of the state’s population, more than half of lives lost on Victoria’s roads are in regional areas.

“We have worked so hard to get to this position and now need to protect each other on the road.”

Operation Saturn will run from 12.01am on Thursday 22 October to 11.59pm on Sunday 8 November 2020.

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