Police operation a success in central Victoria

CENTRAL Victorian roads were free of fatalities or serious injuries this Christmas period.

Bendigo police were pleased with the results of Operation Summer Stay, which finished last night at midnight after four phases spanning 24 days. 

Police around Mount Macedon, Campaspe, Central Goldfields and Bendigo conducted 35,000 breath tests in the 24-day period. 

Seventy-two drink- and drug-

affected drivers were detected by police. An additional 18,000 traffic offences, including speeding, distracted driving, and driving without registration or while suspended or disqualified.

In Bendigo alone, 9500 drivers were breath tested, with 24 drug- and alcohol-affected drivers processed.

Bendigo police Sergeant Rosie Rowe said the result was particularly satisfying considering last year’s central Victorian road toll, which was the highest it had been for many years.

“For the number of the tests conducted, it’s a good result,” she said. “What is particularly pleasing for Bendigo is that there were no fatalities or significant injuries in that time.

“Last year really was a sobering year as far as statistics are concerned.” 

Sergeant Rowe said high visibility on roads and media campaigns meant drivers would give driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol a second thought.

“Undoubtedly, an increased visible presence serves as a reminder to drivers to do the right thing. 

“A combination of that, media campaigns, and the education side of it, make sure it’s always in the back of people’s minds.” 

Sergeant Rowe said she was proud of the station’s commitment to the operation. “We’re consistently the top of the state in regards to the hours dedicated to it and the commitment the members show to the operation,” she said.

She hoped the good start to the year would continue.

“It’s good that the Victorian road toll was lower last year, but it’s still far too many.”

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