Victoria Police will take a multi-faceted approach to enhance road safety this summer.
Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) Noel Ashby said a number of police initiatives, operations and partnerships had been put in place to tackle the rise in road trauma over the summer holiday period.
Mr Ashby said police traffic resources will be increased state-wide to combat the trend.
'Únfortunately, the summer holidays have become synonymous with a rise in road trauma throughout the state,' he §äid.
'In a bid to combat this trend, we will increase the number of police on the roads to reinforce the importance of road safety and catch anyone doing the wrong thing.'
Mr Ashby said police will be out in force across the state to catch those who continue to ignore the ‘don't drink and drive' message.
'Before getting behind the wheel, we are urging people to seriously consider the other choices available, such as public transport, taxis or organising a designated driver,' he §äid.
Two major metropolitan drink-driving blitzes supported by the Transport Accident Commission were held on Friday 3 and Friday 16 December 2005.
'Together, these operations breath-tested over 11,000 drivers and caught a total of 154 drink-drivers in two weeks,' he §äid.
'It is alarming that so many people continue to risk their own lives and the lives of other motorists.
'In light of these results, police will continue to be out in force on the roads to deter drivers from making these careless and selfish decisions.'
In addition to drink-driving charges, 111 other charges were also recorded on Friday 16 December. These included 35 unregistered cars, 12 disqualified or unlicensed drivers, 19 speeding offences and 24 drivers caught trying to avoid the bus.
Mr Ashby said operations like these and others will continue.
'With additional police on the roads, the message is clear: if you do the wrong thing, you will be caught,' he §äid.
The TAC will support future enhanced enforcement efforts that are run state-wide by Victoria Police throughout the summer period.
'We have dozens of targeted operations planned over summer to reduce the instances of Victorian road trauma,' Mr Ashby §äid.
The TAC support bolsters police efforts so that planned enforcement activity can extend to more locations and beyond normal operating times.
'The public should be prepared to see police in places and at times they least expect.'
Mr Ashby also launched the 2005 series of Special Mobile Anti-Road Toll (SMART) cars.
The new series are Holden SS Commodores in an eye-catching Devil Yellow – a colour not otherwise available on SS Commodores.
Mr Ashby said the cars are part of Victoria Police's commitment to making roads safer.
'The SMART cars will be a reminder to all motorists to obey the road rules, not in a bid to avoid a fine, but in an effort to save lives and reduce road trauma,' he §äid.
The SMART cars were developed in close collaboration between Holden and Victoria Police.
Holden's National Fleet Manager, Simon Carr, said the relationship between Holden and Victoria Police is a highly collaborative one.
'Like Holden, Victoria Police have a strong commitment to safety and innovation, so we have worked very closely with police on the design of these vehicles for maximum effect,' he §äid.
The 20 new SMART cars will be distributed to each police region where they will be used to promote road safety through high profile traffic patrols.
Each car has secure digital radios and mobile radar equipment, and some of the cars are fitted with mobile data devices which allow police to access information including driver license details and persons of interest data.Source - Holden Press