Operation Nexus is back and in action until Anzac Day, following Victoria Police’s detection of over 9,500 offences last year over the four-day Easter period.
The state-wide operation running from Thursday 13 April until Tuesday 25 April, targets the ‘fatal five’ – speed, fatigue, distraction, seatbelt non-compliance and impaired driving, including drug and alcohol use.
Lisa Neville, Minister for Police, explained the operation is not only about extra policing but also sending an important message out to all Victorians.
“Think about your loved ones over this Easter/Anzac Day period… and the impact they will feel if you don’t take care on the road,” she told a press conference on 12 April.
“The message is just go slower, take a break, don’t use your mobile phone and please do not drink and drive or use drugs.
“The cost to you, to your family and to the broader community is just too great.”
Over the 13 days, 10,000 police will be on the roads, including all operation police, detectives and highway patrols.
The Transport Accident Commission has contributed funding for overtime hours and providing accommodation for police members during this time.
Doug Fryer, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Command said, “Everyone will be out. We’ll be checking speeds, doing drug and alcohol tests [and] talking to drivers about fatigue.”
He urges Victorians to monitor their own fatigue and utilise the more than 45 SES Driver Reviver stops available around the state.
Fryer announced that prior to the press conference, 30 Victorian lives have been lost on our roads over the past 30 days.
“That’s 30 funeral homes or a church, chapel, synagogue or mosque overflowing with a community saying goodbye to a loved one, every single day for the last 30 days,” he said.
“That sort of trauma has the ripple affect right across the community.”
Victorians are expected to be travelling on busier and unfamiliar roads over the holiday period and are warned to take extra care, especially on rural roads.
“While the speed limit on many of those [rural roads] is set at 100, that is the maximum not the recommended speed,” Fryer said.
Despite police efforts, there have been three fatalities on Victorian roads over the Easter weekend, amounting to 11 lives lost across the nation.
Victoria is one of the few Australian states that doesn’t enforce double-demerit points during holiday times.
But Mr Fryer said he doesn’t think it would make a difference.
“66 per cent of Victorians admit they pick up their mobile phone sometimes when driving. Whether it’s four demerit points or eight demerit points I’m not sure that it makes a difference,” Fryer said.
“The academic research suggests it doesn’t.”
During the operation, Victoria Police will be focussing on hotspots such as the Bass Coast, Surf Coast, Wangaratta, Benalla and Mornington Peninsula.
Operation Nexus will continue to be under operation until midnight April 25.
Victoria Police ask children what they think of road safety. Watch below: