Drink-driving, speeding caught in long weekend police operation in Bendigo

Fifty-two people have been caught speeding over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in the Bendigo area alone.

The four-day Operation Regal was conducted by police statewide from Friday to Monday and targeted the main causes of fatal and serious injury crashes, including speed, distraction, fatigue, drink and drug-driving, and failure to wear a seatbelt.

In addition to the 52 speeding offences, local police also caught five drink-drivers, two people driving under the influence of drugs, and eight unlicensed drivers.

Other offences detected included driving while disqualified, driving an unregistered vehicle, failing to wear a seatbelt, and disobeying signs or signals.

Two vehicles were impounded.

Sergeant Mick McCrann said there were no fatal collisions in the region at the long weekend but there were some serious injury crashes, most involving alcohol.

Sergeant McCrann said it was “certainly disappointing” to see such a high number of speeding offences and several drink-drivers.

He said drivers were now aware of such operations, and being forewarned of them gave them the opportunity to act better on the roads.

So he said such results left police frustrated, as they repeatedly tried to convey the same road safety messages.

But Sergeant McCrann said police would continue making their presence felt on the roads.

Across the state, police detected more than 8300 traffic offences and 800 criminal offences during the course of the operation.

Among those were 3160 people caught speeding and 418 found using their phones, increases of 23 per cent and 28 per cent respectively on last year.

One in 15 motorists tested were driving under the influence of drugs and of the more than 147,200 drivers breath-tested, 245 were found to be over the limit.

“I’m not sure what it will take for motorists to heed the warnings,” acting Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Debra Robertson said.

“Does it have to be the loss of a loved one for the message to get through?”

But in Bendigo, Operation Regal saw no drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel.

Police have recently wrapped up the first phase of Operation Millet, which focused on driver distraction, particularly the use of mobile phones behind the wheel.