A six-week police operation targeting the Great Ocean Road has been hailed a safety success after no deaths or serious injuries were recorded during one of the area's busiest tourist seasons.
South-west police road safety manager Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo said Operation Apostle involved 21 specially funded additional police shifts between January 24 and March 10, a period which included the extremely busy Chinese New Year period.
"We were targeting heavy tourist hot spots along the Great Ocean Road, with a particular focus on the area between Port Campbell to Princetown, where Parks Victoria reduced speed limit and erected barriers," he said.
Senior Sergeant Asenjo said there was some large traffic flows in the area during the operation including buses, caravans, hire cars, camper vans, backpackers and international tourists, especially along the Great Ocean Road and feeder roads.
There were 202 tickets issued for speeding, the vast majority in the lower speed zones among the 234 total traffic offences, and one minor collision in a car park.
"The focus was really on the 40km/h zones in that Gibson Steps and Twelve Apostles area and those gradual decreases from 100km/h zones to 40 zone."
In addition to the speeders, there were 246 breath tests conducted, one drug driver caught and three drivers with either suspended or disqualified licences.
Six unregistered vehicles were also discovered and two cars impounded.
"It was very pleasing there was no significant road trauma during that operation in that part of the world," Senior Sergeant Asenjo said.
"That was what this operation was all about. It was designed to assist people getting to their destination, to enjoy their time there and to get home safely."
The operation was supported and coordinated with the Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads and Parks Victoria.
"There was additional funding for additional shifts," the road safety manager said.
"They were patrol shifts in addition to normal rostered resources to try and boost safety in that area through policing and to provide a rapid response to any emergencies as well.
"As with all policing operations there will be a post-operation assessment to determine its value and based on that it will be determined if it will run again next year."
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