Wimmera police blitz on Easter, Anzac Day drivers: "Take no chances"

WIMMERA police have warned people against taking chances on the region’s roads during Easter and the Anzac Day weekend.

Horsham Highway Patrol Sergeant Wayne Caddy said there would be more traffic on the roads.

“A lot of people will be travelling between Melbourne and Adelaide,” he said.

But he expected many drivers would not be accustomed to driving long distances, and would be traversing unfamiliar roads on their way to see family and friends.

“If you’re travelling long-distance, take a break every two hours and revive,” he said.

“Service clubs will be providing refreshments at free coffee spots.

“Make use of them – pull over and have a rest.”

Victoria’s road toll is up on last year.

Heading into Easter in 2013, the road toll was 71.

This year, it stands at 77.

A Harrow woman died earlier this month after a head-on two-car collision on the Western Highway near Stawell.

The crash critically injured her husband.

Two children and a Rupanyup woman in the second car suffered minor injuries.

“We don’t want anyone else hurt on our roads,” Sgt Caddy said.

Wimmera police will be running two special operations during the Easter and Anzac Day period.

Operation Crossroads starts on Thursday, ending on Easter Monday.

Operation Soteria runs from April 22 until April 27.

Operation focus

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

Sgt Caddy said people should have already noticed an increased police presence on the region’s roads.

“We received funding from the Transport Accident Commission to run a drink and drug driving campaign in the Wimmera called Operation Attitude,” he said.

“It started three weeks ago, and we have already detected a number of offences.

“The most recent was a Horsham man, 18, who returned a positive preliminary breath test and then recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.081 at Horsham Police Station.

“As a first year P-plater, it should have been a zero alcohol reading.”

He said the teenager had been drinking at a football ground.

“We have nothing against anyone having a drink at the footy, or anywhere, but they need to have other arrangements so they don’t have to drive home,” he said.

“Arrange a designated driver, or walk.

“This young fellow told me on the night he was likely to lose his job because of this, so the effects for him are going to just keep rolling on.

“It’s no good at the time worrying that you’ve been caught.”

Operation Attitude will continue until June.

Victoria Police will trial the nation’s first Ranger camera during the Easter and Anzac Day period.

The portable camera has an extra-long lens, which can detect motorists using mobile phones or not wearing seatbelts up to 700 metres away.

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