Police are setting their sights on motorcycle safety in an effort to prevent road deaths from reaching a 10-year high.
Less than a fortnight earlier a 31-year-old Queensland motorcyclist died in hospital after a fatal crash in Heywood on September 8.
Warrnambool police tasking and coordination manager Acting Senior Sergeant Lisa McRae said even a low impact collision could have a catastrophic effect on motorcyclists.
"If it's slippery or windy, they misjudge a corner and they're not wearing adequate clothing when they fall off, it's going to result in a much more serious injury than someone in a car," she said.
She said the region's road police would next month launch Operation High Side, a statewide road policing effort targeting motorcycle safety.
She said police would set their sights on both on and off road users.
"For those on the road we'll be targeting all your usual offences - speed, drugs and alcohol and distraction," she said.
Acting Senior Sergeant McRae said learners not displaying their L plates or wearing approved safety vests would also be targeted, as well as motorcyclists using mobile phones.
"Riders can't even touch a phone while they're riding," she said.
She said too often riders were observed with inadequate safety equipment - helmets that weren't approved, thongs and singlets and a general lack of protective gear.
The operation will also see police following up off-road users, making sure their bikes are registered and they're licensed to ride in public areas.
Acting Senior Sergeant McRae said the operation aimed to educate motorcyclists on the importance of riding when not under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, even on private properties.
"This operation is mainly about education and reminding riders of the rules to ensure everyone is kept safe," she said.
She said safety pamphlets would be handed out during October.
The motorcyclist who died in Heywood earlier this month was the 14th person killed in road crashes on south-west roads since January, which is four more than all of 2022.
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