Australia Day speed a target for south-west police

WARRNAMBOOL police are urging motorists to plan their trips and take frequent rests when driving on the long weekend.

Acting Sergeant Deane Owen, from Warrnambool highway patrol, said police would be targeting low-level speeding, drink and drug driving and mobile phone use in the area. 

Acting Sergeant Owen said drivers who did not adequately plan their trips were more likely to speed and rush to reach their destination.

“When travelling over the long weekend, we want drivers to plan their trips, get a good night’s sleep beforehand and don’t drive when they would normally be asleep,” he said.

“Take regular rest stops, even if that means just getting out of the vehicle for five minutes.”

Acting Sergeant Owen said recent fatalities on south-west highways had been due to driver fatigue and distractions such as mobile phone use. 

“We want people to slow down and think of their families and other people’s families,” he said. 

The current penalty for mobile phone use while driving is $433 and four demerit points.

Police will also carry out drug and alcohol testing over the Australia Day long weekend.

Acting Sergeant Owen told The Standard that drivers were also failing to buckle up when on the road. 

Warrnambool highway patrol recently fined three people within 30 minutes in the Camperdown region for not wearing seatbelts. 

Acting Sergeant Owen said all of the drivers were on probationary licences.

Motorcyclists will also be among those watched for speeding and careless behaviour. 

“Plan the trip better and allow more time for your travel. At the end of the day we want people to arrive at their destinations safe and healthy,” Mr Owen said.

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