South-west motorists are putting themselves and other road users at risk by fleeing police at speed, down residential streets and at all times of the day.
The Standard has reported on at least four incidents this year involving a vehicle evading police at disastrous speeds.
In January, a 35-year-old Heywood man with a history of dodging police was jailed for five months after he fled at 90km/h in a residential street.
A 24-year-old Penshurst man copped 100 hours of unpaid work for driving at twice the speed limit after police attempted to intercept him for driving unlicensed.
Last week, a white utility believed to be stolen failed to stop in Warrnambool's Merri Street, narrowly missing a car near the RSL.
And a Framlingham man this month appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court accused of a dangerous police evade that could have ended in tragedy for a passing elderly woman.
Levi Clarke, 20, is facing charges of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving while being pursued by police and unlicensed driving.
Senior Constable Peter Hunter, of the Warrnambool police highway patrol unit, told the court the charges related to an incident on April 9 last year when Mr Clarke was allegedly observed driving a stolen blue Toyota Prado in Warrnambool's Menzies Street.
He said the vehicle was stolen from Keysborough, south-east of Melbourne, on March 24 last year.
Senior Constable Hunter said the registration plates did not match the vehicle so police activated their lights in order to intercept the driver. He said the vehicle accelerated in excess of 85km/h in a 50km/h zone before dangerously mounting a concrete traffic island, losing control and crossing onto the wrong side of the road.
Senior Constable Hunter alleged Mr Clarke was observed by another police vehicle about half-an-hour later.
He said the police van attempted to intercept the stolen vehicle but it sped off, driving onto a nature strip and narrowly missing an elderly lady who had just exited her car.
He said Mr Clarke failed to give way, drove in excess of 100km/h in a residential street and drove against the flow of traffic on a one-way street that ran adjacent to a primary school.
Police abandoned the pursuit for safety reasons.
Mr Clarke was arrested at a property in Warrnambool's Menzies Street on April 14 last year. He refused to be interviewed.
The man unsuccessfully applied for bail this month and was remanded in custody until March 27.
Charges relating to motorists fleeing police are complex and can range from failing to stop - where people travelling at the speed limit do not stop when police lights are turned on - to the aggravated offence of intentionally exposing an emergency worker to risk by driving.
Warrnambool police Acting Senior Sergeant Cameron Ross said some of the more serious charges carried a jail sentence of up to 20 years.
"It's just not worth it," he said.
"By failing to stop you are compounding the trouble you are in, and putting everyone in danger."
Acting Senior Sergeant Ross said Victoria Police had seen an increase in police evade incidents since the Pursuit Policy was amended in 2015.
The new policy came after a series of recommendations from a Coronial inquest into deaths linked to high speed pursuits across the state in 2013.
"Since the new policy came into effect, we have seen an increase in evades and people failing to stop," Acting Senior Sergeant Ross said.
"However in the south-west we have generally seen lower numbers than in other parts of the state. Of those offences committed we have a high arrest rate. We rely on a number of different investigation techniques as well as public assistance to assist us in solving these incidents.
"When motorists fail to stop, they are placing the community as well as themselves and emergency workers at risk of serious injury. It is that small percentage of people who know they are breaking the law that choose not to stop."
The Standard asked Victoria Police for data relating to the number of police evades in the region but a spokeswoman said only state-wide pursuit figures could be provided.
"The one police pursuit may take place across multiple suburbs," she said.
"For this reason we only provide state-wide pursuit figures to ensure the accuracy of our data, as we may not record all of the suburbs the pursuit took place in."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.