Unwise decisions lead to tragedy

Despite a heartfelt plea to the community Victoria Police’s annual Christmas and new year road safety operation has concluded with 17 families forever missing loved ones.

It took only two hours into the new year for a 26-year-old motorcyclist to collide with a vehicle and lose his life.

A man was left with the unimaginable pain of losing both his 37-year-old wife and 5-year-old son in a collision in Kingston the day before many other Victorians celebrated the new year.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said while 2019 was a particularly challenging year on the roads for Victoria, the latter six months of the year saw the number of deaths finish at a 10 year low.

“It is comforting to know that over the past six months that through a combination of enforcement efforts and community messaging we are starting to see a difference,” AC Murphy said.

“Saying this I don’t want to lose momentum and have history repeat itself, which saw a shocking number of people lose their lives at the beginning of last year.”

There was one double fatality and 15 single fatality collisions during this year’s Operation Roadwise.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said that it was alarming how many unauthorised drivers police were detecting.

“Every one of those drivers detected by police should not have been on the road for one reason or another,” AC Murphy said.

“We are already off to a sad start this year and I do not want to see any more Victorians dying unnecessarily.”

Operation Roadwise statistics reflect enforcement from lunchtime Thursday 19 December to midnight 5 January 2020*.

The operation saw police detect more than 22,313 traffic and 2,910 criminal offences.

Impaired driving remained a concern, with 628 drink driving and 621 drug driving offences detected.

General offences detected during Operation Roadwise include:

• 522 disqualified/suspended drivers and riders

• 897 unlicensed drivers/riders

• 2236 unregistered vehicles

• 8743 speeding offences

• 1098 mobile phone offences

• 1247 disobey signs/signals

• 319 vehicle impounds

• 626 seat belt offences

*Due to the protected industrial action statistics were not collected during a period of Operation Roadwise. Enforcement was still taking place.

Operation Roadwise ran from Friday 13 December 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020.

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