Police patrol Easter traffic

By Jackson Russell

Despite a quieter Easter long weekend this year, police were still out patrolling roads as part of Operation Nexus.

Operation Nexus is Victoria Police’s annual road policing focus that aims to prevent death and serious injury by targeting speeding, impairment, fatigue, distraction and seatbelt offences.

Over the course of the long weekend, police across the state detected 3610 speeding offences, 259 drug drivers and 124 drink drivers.

The Mitchell Police Service Area had 83 infringement notices issued with three impoundments and three drug drivers processed.

Mitchell Police Service Area Inspector Peter Koger said the area didn’t have the same traffic it normally would.

“We expected that with the COVID-19 response and social distancing laws,” he said.

“Most people behaved themselves in regards to that and we didn’t get the same volume traffic we normally would.

“We were fortunate that there were no lives lost over the long weekend.

“People adhered to social distancing rules and those that were on the road behaved themselves so it was a good result.”

Throughout the whole division, which includes Benalla, Shepparton and Murrindindi, nine infringement notices were issued to people breaking social distancing rules.

Three infringement notices were issued in the Mitchell police service area.

Insp Koger said he had instructed members to use their discretion when issuing infringement notices.

“People are confused about the messaging so we’re taking every case on its merits and I’ve told my members to contact a supervisor first to ensure we’re doing the right thing for the community because sometimes a warning is more appropriate,” he said.

Some of the intercepts across the state include a 32-year-old Avondale Heights motorcyclist allegedly speeding at 123km/h in an 80km/h zone along the Calder Freeway, and again at 137km/h in a 50km/h zone in Diggers Rest, and a 21-year-old allegedly travelling at 169km/h in a 100km/h zone in Thomastown and, as a P-plater returned a breath-test reading of .047 per cent.