WITH hundreds — potentially even thousands — of visitors expected to descend on Echuca-Moama this long weekend, police are warning motorists to take extra care on the roads.
Highway patrols from both sides of the river will be out in force, targeting the fatal five — speeding, drunk and drug driving, fatigue and distracted drivers — between Friday and Monday, June 5 to 8.
As part of Victoria Police's Operation Regal, Campaspe Highway Patrol will be joined by general duty officers as well as police units from central Victoria and Melbourne.
Campaspe Highway Patrol's Senior Constable Bren Lodi said he expected a busy weekend with the lifting of some COVID restrictions and the influx of travellers to holiday spots along the Murray River and Echuca-Moama motels and caravan parks.
“I believe that most accommodation and holiday parks are booked out and the hospitality sector has been inundated with reservations,” he said.
“We expect the roads will be very busy, so I implore drivers to slow down, take their time, have regular rest breaks, don’t drink and drive, and put away their mobile phones whilst driving.
“Take care and enjoy the weekend but be considerate of other road users and travel safely.”
Campaspe Shire has already had two fatalities this year, both occurring in Kyabram last month.
A man died in a single vehicle accident on Webb Rd on May 12. Just eight days later, the driver of a ute was killed after losing control at the intersection of Breen Ave and Cooma Rd.
A heightened police presence can also be expected in Moama as part of Operation Stay Alert.
Murray River Police District Commander Acting Superintendent Owen Hill said with the return of proactive stationary testing operations, the community should expect to see police out about performing random breath and drug testing.
“Double demerits will be in place throughout the operation for speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, and riding without a helmet,” Supt Hill said.
“We understand members of the public are eager to explore and stretch their legs after a tough start to the year, and we need to ensure everyone is doing the right thing on our roads.”