Bendigo police out in force on high-risk roads

ON PATROL: Senior Constable Dave Sanders and Sergeant Mick McCrann write up a driver's details. Bendigo police will be conducting extra patrols on high-risk roads until June. Picture: DARREN HOWE

ON PATROL: Senior Constable Dave Sanders and Sergeant Mick McCrann write up a driver's details. Bendigo police will be conducting extra patrols on high-risk roads until June. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Bendigo police are ramping up their patrols in the hope of driving down the risk of road trauma.

However, Acting Sergeant Travis Dole urged people not to wait for a visible police presence to consider road safety. 

He called on motorists to drive to the conditions and to be considerate of other road users, especially with an increase in traffic expected during the Easter holidays and surrounding events such as Groovin the Moo and the Red Hot Summer Tour

Police will be targeting high-risk behaviours such as speeding during the extra patrols, which are already underway.

The rural roads operation ends in June.

Weekends, and the days before and after, have been identified as peak times for collisions on the region’s roads.

Specifically, between 8am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, from 2pm to 6pm on Mondays, and noon to 4pm on Fridays. 

Police intelligence suggests high-risk road behaviours are evident in both urban and rural areas of Greater Bendigo. 

Acting Sergeant Dole said rural undivided roads were of particular concern, as they had the greatest potential for reduction in fatalities and serious injuries. 

He estimated a 50 per cent increase in enforcement hours on such roads would result in 90 fewer casualty crashes a year.

As Bendigo police monitor high-risk driving behaviours, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce has called for people to check the condition of their vehicles. 

“Safe driving messages only work if people are driving safe vehicles,” VACC executive director Geoff Gwilym said.

“Every motorist should visually inspect their tyres, seat belts, mirrors and wiper blades.

“If tyres are flat, pump them up to the recommended pressures noted in the vehicle’s handbook and if a tyre is worn, have it replaced – this goes for caravans too.

“Top up the windscreen wiper bottle and check that the wipers are in good condition and, at the same time, check the condition of the battery and fill the radiator to the required level.”

He also suggested people get their vehicles serviced regularly, and in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. 

“Let’s consider all aspects of road safety this Easter – safe driving, safe roads and safe vehicles – and work together to get everyone home safely,” Mr Gwilym said.

Forty-nine people have lost their lives on Victorian roads in the year to date.

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