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Drive to arrive home alive

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March 09, 2018

Be careful: Highway Patrol Eastern Region Division Three Senior Sergeant David Gillespie is urging drivers to be safe, with an influx of traffic expected to hit the Goulburn Valley across the long weekend.

Shepparton police will have the assistance of additional resources from Melbourne this Labour Day long weekend, as part of Operation Arid.

‘‘The main focus this weekend will be on risk-taking driver behaviour,’’ Highway Patrol Eastern Region Division Three Senior Sergeant David Gillespie said.

‘‘All police within the Eastern Region Division Three will be committed to it.’’

Sen Sgt Gillespie said four people had been killed on the roads in our region this year and road trauma had a huge impact on everyone.

‘‘Fortunately, this weekend last year we didn’t have any persons killed in the Goulburn Valley,’’ he said.

‘‘We again hope to achieve zero road trauma on our roads.

‘‘We want people to enjoy the weekend, but do it safely and in a way where you’re considerate of other road users.’’

The Goulburn Valley is expecting a large influx of traffic on roads today and on Monday when people make their trips home.

Sen Sgt Gillespie urged drivers to be patient, plan their trip and asked people who saw poor driver behaviour to report it to police.

‘‘So that we can deal with it before it gets any worse,’’ he said. ‘‘Police will be out and about and we’re reminding drivers to be mindful of the 40km/h speed limit when passing emergency vehicles with flashing lights.’’

Operation Arid began at midnight last night and will run until midnight on Monday.

TAKE A BREAK

The Transport Accident Commission is urging Victorian motorists to take a break and drive to the conditions this Labour Day long weekend.

About 20 State Emergency Service rest stops will operate in Victoria, with the TAC setting up Pit Stop sites at four of the busiest locations — offering free barista coffees, sausage sizzles, prizes and fun family activities.

TAC road safety lead director Samantha Cockfield said breaking up a road trip for a rest, or to swap drivers, could be a life-saving choice.

‘‘It’s a sad reality that four people didn’t make it to their destination in Victoria on the Labour Day long weekend last year,’’ Ms Cockfield said.

‘‘We can’t accept that higher traffic volumes and longer distances travelled results in more devastation on our roads.’’

Motorists who stop at TAC Pit Stops can also learn more about flexible safety barriers being rolled out on high-risk Victorian regional roads and the role they play in reducing serious injuries and death.

TAC Pit Stops will operate at Balmattum and Wedderburn today, and Bacchus Marsh, Marong and Balmattum on Monday.

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