Police efforts not dampened during Operation Furlong

More than 5000 offences were detected by Victoria Police during Operation Furlong over the Melbourne Cup long weekend, despite widespread wet weather.

The five-day, statewide road policing operation saw police targeting high-risk driving behaviour, with a particular focus on speeding, impaired driving, and distraction.

Concerningly, one in every 295 motorists tested were detected for drink driving offences, which is a significant increase on last month's strike rate over the AFL Grand Final long weekend where one in every 536 motorists were detected for drink driving.

There were also a further 187 motorists who were caught drug driving.

A total of 5,433 traffic offences were detected during the operation, with almost 40 per cent of those for speeding.

There were also 232 mobile phone offences detected, and automatic numberplate recognition technology caught 433 motorists for driving whilst disqualified, suspended or unlicenced.

Three lives were lost on Victorian roads during the long weekend operation, including two motorcyclist fatalities in Wandong on Friday and Woodend on Saturday, and a 24-year-old male driver in Bundoora on Monday, bringing the total number of lives lost to 210 - 26 higher than last year and well above the five-year average of 192.

A summary of offences detected from Operation Furlong include:

• 2,086 speeding offences

• 433 unlicensed, disqualified/suspended drivers

• 299 disobey signs/signals

• 232 mobile phone offences

• 224 drink driving offences from 66,172 preliminary breath tests

• 187 drug driving offences from 2,662 roadside drug tests

• 145 vehicle impoundments

• 136 seatbelt offences

• 689 unregistered vehicles

Operation Furlong was conducted from 12:01am Friday 28 October to 11:59pm Tuesday 1 November 2022.

Quotes attributable to Acting Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Justin Goldsmith:

"It was a challenging weekend on Victorian roads, with widespread wet weather and ongoing flooding putting a dampener on people's travel arrangements.

"However, it did not deter police enforcement efforts, with over 5,000 offences detected during our five-day road safety operation.

"What was extremely concerning to us was the strike rate of drink drivers - one in every 295 drivers we tested were detected for drink driving, which may not seem significant but compared to a month ago where one in every 536 drivers were caught drink driving, the increase in strike rate is quite alarming.

"As we approach the festive time of the year, we know social events synonymous with alcohol and drug consumption become more frequent. With so many alternative transport options available, there is absolutely no excuse for drink and drug driving.

"We will be focusing our efforts on widespread alcohol and drug testing as we head towards the end of the year, so you can be confident you will be tested and caught, even if you're only a little bit over the limit.

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