Police will ramp up road enforcement during the Melbourne Cup Carnival with a five-day blitz to target dangerous drivers.
From midnight tonight, the state-wide Operation Furlong will run across Victoria’s major highways and roads, metropolitan and regional transport hubs and popular holiday destination routes.
It will focus on the key contributors to fatalities and serious injury crashes including speed, drink and drug driving, fatigue, seatbelt compliance, mobile-phone use and other reckless behaviours.
Police will be scanning number plates, breath-testing, drug-testing and speed-checking drivers to protect motorists and members of the public after the race.
Police are also encouraging drivers who are travelling out of the city to take regular breaks during their journey.
Between 2010 and 2015, during the Melbourne Cup period, 27 people were killed on Victorian roads.
Last year, Operation Furlong detected 8543 traffic offences and 1023 criminal offences.
The Labor Government recently announced additional funding to increase enforcement over the high-risk spring and Christmas period – with 1000 additional police shifts between now and the end of the year.
The Government has also invested $15 million in a new fleet of drug and booze buses, and has ramped up drug driving tests to 100,000 per year – the highest of any state.
Police are also working with the Victoria Racing Club to ensure race-goers can enjoy themselves safely on and around the track during the carnival.
There will be a strong police presence both inside and outside Flemington on raceday, with bag checks and security scans for fans coming into the racecourse. Police will also target alcohol-fuelled and anti-social behaviour, and drink drivers near the racecourse.
Those caught doing the wrong thing face significant penalties, including on-the-spot fines of $622 for being found drunk in a public place and $777 for being caught drunk and disorderly.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“The Melbourne Cup Carnival should be celebrated safely both on the roads and trackside at Flemington.”
“There is no excuse for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – if you do so, you’ll be caught.”
“We have had a shocking year on our roads with 239 lives lost – and that’s why we stand with Victoria Police to ensure we keep the roads safe.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020