Seymour Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Blaire Wells and First Constable Monica Lock, Eastern Region Road Policing Inspector Stephen Cooper and Eastern Region Division Three Senior Sergeant David Gillespie are urging drivers to take care on the roads during the holidays.

Victoria Police is boosting its presence on the roads during the Christmas and New Year period, with motorists urged to slow down and arrive at their celebrations safely.

The 24-day Operation Roadwise campaign will see police out in force targeting dangerous driving, drug and drink driving, and irresponsible behaviour on the roads.

Victorians can expect a highly visible police presence at popular destinations across metropolitan and regional areas.

Police will use alcohol and drug test buses to target those travelling to and from celebrations in suburban streets and on highways. Every police car can test for alcohol.

All road users will be targeted, including heavy vehicles, light trucks, cars, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology will also be used during Operation Roadwise.

The camera device fitted to specific police cars can read the registration plate of another vehicle in a split second and indicate if there is a licensing, registration or other issue requiring attention.

Eastern Region Road Policing Inspector Stephen Cooper encouraged drivers to reduce their own risks on the road by ensuring their vehicle was roadworthy, practising stop-revive-survive strategies, staying off their mobile phones and being alert on unfamiliar roads.

“There have been 253 deaths on Victorian roads this year. Almost half of those were in country Victoria and 15 were in the eastern region covering the Goulburn valley,” he said.

“We know 18 per cent of the fatalities involved people not wearing a seatbelt.

“The Christmas period is a time of significant trauma because there are more people on the roads travelling for holidays or to see family.

“We have fantastic regional locations for people to stop and check out while they take some time to break up their trip.

“All drivers have a role to play in keeping our roads safe.”

Operation Roadwise started at midnight December 13 and runs until just before midnight on January 6.

Supplied by the Seymour Telegraph.