Police have issued a stern warning: don't turn a summer holiday into a summer tragedy.
Victoria Police western region division two Superintendent Martin Hardy said a number of close calls both on the roads and at the region's popular tourist spots had prompted a renewed plea for community members to be safe and aware this holiday season.
South-west police this week attended two rescues in as many days at Childers Cove in Mepunga and Peterborough's London Bridge Beach, and have reported a disturbing number of impaired motorists, including drink-drivers blowing up to six times the legal limit.
Superintendent Hardy said there had also been road collisions ending in injuries occurring as a result of poor driver behaviour.
He said local police launched Operation Roadwise on Friday in response to an expectation of a Christmas holiday flood on regional roads.
He said the operation had an emphasis on the "fatal five": speed, alcohol and drugs, distraction, not wearing a seatbelt and fatigue.
"People are travelling on open roads potentially for the first time in a long time post-COVID19 (restrictions) and they may have lost their confidence and awareness of driving to the road conditions," he said
"We've had some fairly serious collisions resulting in serious injuries and death of late across the state and we're really honing in on that driver behaviour and to remind everyone to drive to the conditions.
"We will have a highly visible presence in and around the south-west, both on the usual roads and those back roads where you might not expect to see us."
Superintendent Hardy said those who choose to drink and drive, speed or use their mobile phone would be caught.
"We're very keen on reducing the impact of road trauma on people in the south-west but also in general because it has a ripple effect across families, the community and our first responders," he said.
The superintendent also urged locals and tourist to adhere to safety measures at popular tourist spots.
"Safety guidelines are there for a reason," he said.
"The coastline is treacherous both on land and in the water with rough seas and rocks and people have to be very much aware of the conditions and how quickly they can change.
"We urge everyone to have the proper safety equipment when entering the waters and for those around our boardwalks and viewing platforms, there's no excuse to go around those boundaries. They're there for a reason and for your own safety.
"We don't want people falling off because it's a big drop and the survival rates are not high for those who slip inadvertently."
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