Police to target unroadworthy vehicles

Before you hit the road, make sure everything in your vehicle is working as it should.
Before you hit the road, make sure everything in your vehicle is working as it should.

With one month left until the end of winter, police are calling for motorists to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy.

As part of the call and in an ongoing effort by police across central Victoria, members will roll into phase three of Operation Millet, a divisional focus to decrease injury collisions.

The operation, which will run for the month of August and involve police from Bendigo, Campaspe, Central Goldfields and Macedon Ranges, will highlight how important it is to ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy at all times.

Bendigo Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Ian Brooks said while it was important to ensure your vehicle was safe and roadworthy all year, it was timely to remind motorists as winter drew to a close.

“Across our division we have seen that unsafe and/or unroadworthy vehicles have been a contributing factor in several of our collisions,” he said.

“Not only as drivers are we responsible for the manner in which we drive, we are also responsible for the safety of our vehicles.”

Senior Sergeant Brooks said it took just a small amount of time to check your car before heading out on the road.

“Make sure tyres are in good condition, lights and indicators are working, all seatbelts are fully functioning and that other systems in your vehicles, which are designed and proven to keep you safe, are working properly,” he said.

“Don’t get swept away with all the modern warning indicators, a driver should still make sure they manually check the general maintenance of their car.”

This phase of Operation Millet follows on from a focus on distraction offences in May, and on drivers who fail to obey traffic signals or signs in June.

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Senior Sergeant Brooks urged all motorists to ensure their vehicles were safe for the road and to adjust their driving behaviour to the conditions.

“It could just be the difference between a collision and a near miss – or even losing your life,” he said.

Motorists who drive unsafe or non-compliant vehicles risk a fine of $159 for inappropriate lights on vehicles or $396 for an unroadworthy vehicle.

In other more severe cases a motorist may have to appear at court. Police can also issue a notice to repair for a vehicle to have faults rectified and in some cases, a roadworthy certificate obtained.

Senior Sergeant Brooks said tyres were one of the most important parts of a vehicle.

“A good set of tyres could be the difference between a collision and a near miss,” he said.

“They are your only contact point with the road, and I’m not just talking about older cars where this is an issue. It’s not uncommon to check a newer model car and discover a number of issues, such as tyres in terrible condition.”

Senior Sergeant Brooks is also calling for people to ensure all lighting on their vehicle is fully functioning and operating appropriately.

“It is something that is so easy to check, however we see too many vehicles driving around with only one headlight, lights that are poorly adjusted or brake lights that don’t work,” he said.

“This can create confusion for other motorists sharing the road; it impacts your depth of vision and also your ability to see hazards on the road. Especially in winter-conditions, this is high-risk behaviour.”