Wimmera police blitz targets Easter, Anzac Day

POLICE have warned Wimmera drivers to be safe on the region's roads during Easter and the Anzac Day long weekend.

Horsham Highway Patrol Sergeant John McTaggart said police would be out in force.

"There will be two operations running during the Easter period," he said.

Operation Soteria will be from April 15 to April 16, and again from April 22 until April 27.

From April 17 until April 21, police will focus on Operation Crossroads.

"We will have all available highway patrol and uniform patrols on the road over those periods," Sgt McTaggart said.

Both operations will focus on six areas: speed, alcohol, fatigue, drug-driving, distraction offences including mobile phone use and restraints including seatbelts.

"Our message is: don't speed; don't drink and drive; don't take drugs and drive including illicit or prescription drugs; don't use mobile phones while driving; and ensure all restraints and seatbelts are being used and are properly adjusted and fitted," Sgt McTaggart said.

He also urged people to be mindful of fatigue.

"Make sure you don't drive when you would normally be sleeping, and if you are driving, take sufficient breaks every two hours, we recommend," he said.

"If you are feeling tired, either swap drivers or stop and have a power nap."

He said the region's roads were fatality-free during Easter and on Anzac Day last year.

"We are looking for a crash and fatality-free period again this year," he said.

"There will be an increased number of people on the road, which is our main concern, and some of those people aren't used to driving long distances.

"We hope they are able to concentrate on their driving and ensure they are able to arrive safely at their destination."

Transport Accident Commission chief executive Janet Dore also urged people to plan their trips home from Easter events.

TAC breath testing teams will be at Stawell Racecourse on Easter Sunday, testing drivers at a family fun day.

The 'phantom' meet will include children's activities, live music, fashions and a big screen showing other race meets.

Racing Victoria on Tuesday announced the Stawell race meeting programmed for Easter Sunday would be transferred to Donald.

The traditional Stawell Gold Cup was thwarted by a suspected deliberate poisoning of the track.

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