Sun sets on police blitz

BENDIGO police detected 1098 traffic offences this summer as part of a two-month blitz of Victoria’s roads.

The Summer Stay road enforcement campaign was launched on 15 November and ended at midnight on Monday.

Highway Patrol Acting Senior Sergeant Della Nihill said police found 37 drivers who were alcohol affected in the Bendigo region. 

 "We detected a further 1061 general traffic offences," she said.  

"Those offences include everything from seatbelt offences to drivers using mobile phones."

"Police conducted 11,486 breath tests during those two months."

The Summer Stay campaign encouraged drivers to stay safe or stay off the roads during the high-risk holiday period.


Victoria Police breath tested more than one million road users across the state and drug tested a further 7206 during the 52-day campaign.

Victoria Police impounded 475 vehicles and detected:

• 2371 drink drivers (compared with 2863 last year)
• 723 drug affected drivers (compared with 396 last year)
• 27,467 speeding motorists (compared with 24,709 last year)
• 1974 disqualified and suspended drivers (compared with 2045 last year)
• 7526 unregistered vehicles (compared with 6559 last year)
• 3378 seatbelt offences (compared with 3299 last year)
• 5458 mobile phone offences (compared with 6077 last year)

Sadly, five people lost their lives on Victoria’s roads during the Christmas road toll period, which ran from 23 December to 3 January – five less than during the same period last year.

Road Policing Command Superintendent Neville Taylor said while it was encouraging to see a reduction in the number of drink driving offences, it was disappointing that some people continued to take unacceptable risks on the roads.

“In 52 days we have caught more than 27,000 people speeding on our roads,” he said.

“That’s completely unacceptable and it’s incredibly disappointing to find that there are still people in our community who are taking huge risks on the road, endangering their own lives and the lives of others.

“Speed is a killer and is a major factor in about a third of collisions each year.

“Low-level speeding can be just as dangerous as high-level speeding and research shows that your risk of being involved in a collision doubles for every 5km/h over the speed limit you are in a 60km/h zone.

“Speeding reduces the time drivers have to avoid crashes, their ability to control their vehicle and lengthens the time it takes to stop.

“We need to change the culture where people think it’s acceptable to speed and to engage in other risky behaviour on our roads.”

Superintendent Taylor said while he was encouraged by a drop in drink driving offences, the numbers were still far too high.

“Speed, impairment and distraction are among the biggest killers on our roads and police will continue to enforce these," he said. 

“The fact that there has been a reduction in drink driving detected shows that the message is starting to sink in, but there is still more work to be done to make the roads safer for everyone.”

Superintendent Taylor said everyone in the community had a role to play in reducing road trauma.

“What we want to see is more responsibility, not only from drivers themselves but from their passengers, family, friends and colleagues – if you know someone’s had too much to drink, don’t let them get behind the wheel.”

The Summer Stay campaign consisted of four operations. 

Operation RAID (Remove All Impaired Drivers) ran from 15 November - 8 December. 

Operation Break Up – the state-wide pre-Christmas operation which ran from 9 – 22 December. 

Operation Crossroads – A national operation coinciding with the official holiday road toll period from 23 December – 3 January

Operation Fresh Start – State-wide post-Christmas operation focused on holiday driving which ran from 4-5 January. 

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