Police blitz roads during August operation

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On the roads: Police will be highly visible in Greater Shepparton this month for Operation Charger. Photo by Megan Fisher

Police will be out in force on Greater Shepparton roads this month as they take part in Operation Charger.

Shepparton Highway Patrol Sergeant Janne Kennedy said the operation would focus on the Shepparton Police Service Area and aim to reduce road trauma.

The operation will focus specifically on five areas: motorcycles, drug and drink drivers, people not wearing seatbelts or using correctly fitted child restraints, pedestrians and intersections.

Sgt Kennedy said motorcycles were being targeted because there was a “lot of road trauma attributed to motorcycles throughout the state”.

She said there was an accident in Shepparton recently in a 50km/h zone where a motorist pulled out and hit a motorcyclist when they did not see them.

“We want to bring greater awareness of motorcyclists,” Sgt Kennedy said.

“They are a small mass and often wear dark colours.”

Sgt Kennedy said a couple of pedestrians had been involved in accidents in the Shepparton area recently.

She urged pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings when they were crossing the road.

“So many people are on their phones and have earpods in (while crossing the road). They would have no chance (against cars),” she said.

“We need to engage with pedestrians to use pedestrian crossings and lights.”

Sgt Kennedy warned, however, that even though a pedestrian light was green, people should still be on the lookout for cars that did not stop.

During the operation, police will also target problem intersections and be on the lookout for drivers who turn against red lights or red arrows.

“If a light turns yellow and you can stop safely, that’s what you should do,” Sgt Kennedy said.

Police will also target drivers who fail to stop or give way at signs.

Drug and drink drivers and those who are not wearing seatbelts or have incorrect child restraints fitted, will also be a target.

Sgt Kennedy said there would be higher visibility policing throughout August, with more police vehicles and foot patrols to be seen.

She said police would also be making use of automatic number plate recognition vehicles, which send alerts to officers if a vehicle is unregistered, the number plates are stolen, or if the person it is registered to is unlicensed.

“It’s amazing technology. It pinpoints cars for us to look at,” Sgt Kennedy said.