Operation Furlong commences Friday 2 November as police urge motorists to not gamble with their lives as Victorians celebrate the Melbourne Cup Carnival long weekend.
The road safety blitz commences 12.01am, Friday 2 November and will concludes following the Melbourne Cup ‘long weekend’.
Victoria’s roads are expected to be much busier than usual over the five days of the long weekend, when many families take holidays and travel. Police will be out in force to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.
A state-wide road policing operation, Operation Furlong, will see a highly visible police presence, with officers focusing on drink and drug driving, speed, distraction, fatigue and seatbelt use.
Head of Road Policing Operations Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said police would have a strong presence around train stations and drivers should remember they could be alcohol and drug tested anywhere, any time.
“Anyone who thinks they can leave their car at a station, catch a train back from the races after drinking then drive the rest of the way home with no chance of being caught should think again.
“Booze and drug buses will also be working throughout the state and our officers will be testing as many motorists and riders as possible. The simple message is if you are going to drink or use drugs, don’t drive.
“Last year, we conducted more than 230,000 preliminary breath tests and more than 2470 roadside drug tests, so the odds of getting tested are high.”
Police are encouraging those who might be driving long distances to get away for a few days or attend events associated with the carnival to take extra care.
“Our message to everyone is to slow down, turn your phone off, wear seatbelts, take regular breaks on long journeys to avoid fatigue and don’t drive after drinking or using drugs,” said Superintendent Fitzpatrick.
“With traffic volumes being much higher than normal, it’s also important that pedestrians take extra care when crossing the road and for drivers to keep an eye out for the higher than normal number of pedestrians.
“Last year, eight people died on Victoria’s roads during the Melbourne Cup Carnival long weekend and since the weekend just gone, five people have died on our roads.
“That’s too many. We want the figure to be zero.
“We were also disappointed with the high number of drivers caught blatantly breaking the law on the roads.”
More than 9000 offences were detected on Victoria’s roads during last year’s carnival long weekend, including more than 530 drink and drug driving offences.
More than 3000 drivers were caught speeding, 462 mobile phone offences were detected and 333 people were caught not wearing seatbelts.
“That’s an unacceptably high level of offending, and we’ll be doing everything we can to deter people from engaging in dangerous behaviour on our roads and catching those who do,” said Superintendent Fitzpatrick
“This isn’t about spoiling people’s fun. We want everyone to have a good time but we also want everyone to get to where they’re going and to get home safely.
“This weekend should be about families and friends creating memories they can share forever, not a time for them to be preparing memorials for a loved one.
“We don’t want to see anyone gambling with their life this long weekend.”