Bendigo's Highway Patrol officers will be out in force this Easter long weekend, even though the COVID-19 pandemic will mean far fewer vehicles travelling.
The annual statewide roads operation has already begun ahead, with police targeting dangerous driving behaviours including speeding, drink-driving and drug-driving.
"We will still be road policing to make sure the roads are safe for those who do need to travel," Bendigo Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Ian Brooks said.
This year, police out on the roads will also check and enforce the stage three COVID-19 restrictions, under which people must not leave their homes unless necessary: for food and supplies, work or education, exercise, or medical care.
"We're trying to keep our community safe on two levels this weekend," Senior Sergeant Brooks said.
He said fewer people travelling would hopefully lessen the spread of COVID-19 and also lead to a reduction in road trauma.
Senior Sergeant Brooks said people should not complain if they were pulled over and fined for breaching the coronavirus rules.
"If you want to travel and take the risk, be prepared to suffer the consequences," he said.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said there would be a strong focus on speeding across the state this long weekend.
Senior Sergeant Brooks said data showed that with fewer vehicles on the roads, the average speed in Victoria had increased.
"When the average speed goes up, we can expect collisions will too," he said.
Motorists could expect police to check for drink-driving, he said, and drug testing would also take place.
Despite less traffic, Assistant Commissioner Murphy said there had still been 18 lives lost since the state of emergency was declared.
Police Minister Lisa Neville again urged people to stay home this long weekend.
"This time last year we lost three lives on our roads," Ms Neville said.
"We want to get through this Easter without seeing a loss of life on our roads, and we want get through Easter without seeing a broad spread of COVID-19."
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