An increase in drivers under the influence of cannabis involved in collisions is behind a push to test more south-west motorists.
South-west police road safety adviser Senior Sergeant Matt Wheeler said March was usually one of the most dangerous months of the year on the roads.
He said large numbers of people were expected to flock to the region over the Labour Day long weekend, with the Great Ocean Road, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Halls Gap popular destinations.
"That weekend there will be statewide police Operation Arid between March 11 and 14," he said.
The road safety adviser said heavy vehicles, young drivers and motorcyclists were the focus.
A Warrnambool cyclist in his 80s, believed to be a resident of the Anchor Point retirement village, was killed last week in a collision with a heavy vehicle.
Senior Sergeant Wheeler said the ongoing heavy vehicle operation would target fatigue, impaired drivers, roadworthiness and overloading.
He said young drivers also continued to be a focus and pro-active campaigns were in place to curb and educate driver behaviour.
The road chief said there was recently an operation run in the Portland district on dirt motorcycle riders, who were overrepresented in serious injuries.
He said policing in that sector had its challenges and a more visible police presence was targeting riders on their way to popular venues, checking licences and reminding riders of their responsibilities.
"Another area of particular interest is our plan to test more drivers for cannabis use," Senior Sergeant Wheeler said.
"That's one specific area that is showing up in our collision statistics - drivers under the influence of cannabis.
"Cannabis does impact a user's ability to drive and we are concerned about the number of people who are using cannabis and driving.
"We will be conducting a lot more random tests, increasing the number of preliminary oral fluid tests we require drivers to take.
"Cannabis is showing up in our crash statistics and that will be addressed."
Victoria Police is launching a major effort to save lives on the roads with figures showing it's the most dangerous month for road trauma.
Operation Engage, launched on Tuesday, will see police targeting road users in priority locations across the entire month.
A total 25 fatalities were recorded in March last year.
Police will be doing all they can to avoid a repeat, with 48 lives already lost on Victoria's roads since January. The figure includes a significant spike in motorcycle fatalities which have increased two-fold compared with the previous 12 months.
Police intelligence shows over the past five years road trauma collisions in both rural and metropolitan Melbourne peaked in March. Speed, drink and drug driving, fatigue and motorists not wearing seatbelts were the biggest contributors.
Motorcycle collisions also historically peak in March with police to engage with riders on taking extra precautions to stay safe.
Heavy vehicles will be targeted with random compliance checks throughout the month.
Operation Engage will include a police blitz over the Labour Day long weekend as people head to the regions.
More than 60 per cent of road fatalities this year have occurred on rural roads.
The number of lives lost in March last year was second only to November during which 28 deaths were recorded.
Operation Engage starts today and finishes at midnight on Thursday, March 31.
Assistant Commissioner Road Policing Glenn Weir said March was becoming synonymous with road trauma.
"It's about time we changed that - it's completely unacceptable," he said.
"With such a terrible start to the year on our roads, we're really ramping up our focus on road safety this month.
"All road users should expect to see Victoria Police out on roads.
"We'll be targeting speeding, impaired driving, fatigue and people not wearing seatbelts - all major contributors to road trauma."
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