IN a concerted push to reduce fatalities during one of the most dangerous months for road trauma, Victoria Police has launched Operation Engage.

Operation Engage will involve police targeting road users in priority locations across March to see little, if not any, road fatalities added to this year’s total already higher-than-usual total.

As of Friday, Victoria’s road deaths for 2022 totalled 51. At the end of February last year, 35 lives were lost on Victorian roads for the year, 14 less than this year’s total.

A total of 25 fatalities were recorded in March last year and police will be doing all they can to avoid a repeat of the figure.

Assistant Commissioner for road policing Glenn Weir said it was time to change the pattern seen with road trauma during March.

“March is becoming synonymous with road trauma and it’s about time we changed that, it’s completely unacceptable,” he said.

“With such a terrible start to the year on our roads, we’re really ramping up our focus on road safety this month. All road users should expect to see Victoria Police out on roads.

“We’ll be targeting speeding, impaired driving, fatigue and people not wearing seatbelts – all major contributors to road trauma.”

Police intelligence shows over the past five years road trauma collisions in both rural and metropolitan Melbourne peaked in March. Speed, drink and drug driving, fatigue and motorists not wearing seatbelts were the biggest contributors.

Motorcycle collisions also historically peak in March, with police to engage with riders on taking extra precautions to stay safe.

Heavy vehicles will be targeted with random compliance checks throughout the month.

With more than 60 per cent of road fatalities this year have occurring on rural roads, Operation Engage will include a police blitz over the Labour Day long weekend as people head to the regions.

The number of lives lost in March 2021 was second only to November, where 28 deaths were recorded.

Operation Engage commenced at on Tuesday last week and concludes on March 31.

For more information and tips for staying safe on the roads visit www.police.vic.gov.au/road-safety-0.