THE boys are back in the town. After blitzing south-west roads last weekend, police are out in force again this weekend in a bid to make the end of the present school holidays fatality-free.
About 60 police from throughout the region have been bolstered by another 25 officers from Melbourne to enforce the blitz’s second wave.
Up to 30 police vehicles will be working at any one time across the region this weekend to address road trauma.
Police south-west divisional manager Superintendent Don Downes said the focus of this weekend’s blitz “will be of the safe systems approach, part of this will be ensuring road users drive safely and the cars they are driving are roadworthy and safe”.
“The weather conditions at this time of the year are hazardous and I ask drivers to take that extra bit of time to ensure they are confident in their abilities and drive accordingly to the weather and road conditions,” Superintendent Downes said.
About 1300 drivers were breath- tested last weekend but only one driver was nabbed for allegedly drink-driving and two others for being drug impaired, one for taking cannabis and the other for taking methamphetamine.
Warrnambool police station commander Shane Keogh said he hoped this weekend’s blitz would yield a similar low number of charges and give officers hope that the community was heeding the road safety message.
Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh said all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists will be targeted this weekend.
“Police will be targeting drink-driving, distraction offences such as mobile phone usage, speed and seatbelt offences,” he said.
“So far this year, we have had 134 deaths on Victorian roads, 15 higher than the same time last year.
“This is an alarming figure and one that we are hoping to turn around with the community’s help.
“But there is another side to this tragedy, and one that is not often spoken about.
“I’m talking about the people who survive road collisions but at a terrible cost.
“Road trauma isn’t just about the people who die — it’s about the enormous impact on the community, from the family members, to the emergency services workers who have to deal with these tragedies on a daily basis, to the police who have to deliver the devastating news to loved ones,” Senior Sergeant Keogh said.