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Emergency services partner on long weekend road safety

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CFA and Ambulance Victoria have joined Victoria Police for the launch of Operation Regal, which focuses on road safety this Queen's Birthday long weekend.

Emergency services partner on long weekend road safety

Operation Regal focuses on encouraging road users to take particular care when passing emergency services personnel attending to road crashes.

Police have questioned whether there is a sense of complacency on Victorian roads as the number of lives lost continues to soar. With long weekends being notorious for bad driver behaviour and major car collisions, police urge the community to think twice when getting behind the wheel this long weekend.

Starting tomorrow, Operation Regal will focus on impaired driving, increased traffic on rural roads, towing trailers and caravans, and trail bike riding in state forests and parks.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said if the community continues to believe it will not happening to them, the number of lives lost on the road will continue to skyrocket.

“Every day, police continue to attend crash scenes where people have consciously chosen to speed, not wear their seatbelt or drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” AC Leane said.

“If you choose to drive this way and something tragic happens, you are ultimately choosing to put your family and friends through an unimaginable amount of pain.

“Police are doing everything we can to curve bad driver behaviour. But without the support and a change in the way people choose to drive we will continue to see carnage on our roads.”

Enforcement activities will vary across the state with police focusing on traffic corridors that link metropolitan areas to popular holiday destinations including the high country (ski fields), Grampians and Lakes regions.

As a part of the operation launch Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, CFA, MFB and SES partnered together to highlight the importance of slowing down to 40km when passing an emergency services vehicle.

CFA Acting deputy Chief Commissioner Peter O'Keefe said the Queen’s Birthday long weekend historically brings a lot of road trauma.

"CFA may be mostly known for fighting fires, but last year our members responded to 63 road accidents over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, some of which were fatal," he said.

"These incidents have a horrific impact on not only on those who knew the people involved in the crash, but on our members. 

"I am proud of the work they do as volunteers and career firefighters, responding to all kinds of emergencies including road rescues, where often they contribute to saving lives. It is only right that they don’t pay with their own life.

"That’s why we remind Victorian drivers to not only keep themselves safe on the road, but to keep an eye out for emergency service workers this weekend – and every day and night, all year.

"When we’re working on the road or side of the road, please help keep our people safe by slowing down to 40 kilometres an hour."

This long weekend also coincides with the official opening of the Victorian snow season and with many people travelling to their holiday destinations, motorists are reminded to be vigilant on unfamiliar roads and carry appropriate snow gear.

Operation Regal will run for four days from 12.01am Friday 7 June to 11.59pm Monday 10 June 2019.