Targeting riders, drivers

LOCAL police are targeting the behaviour of riders and drivers during Operation Motosafe this month.

There is an increased police presence on roads throughout October, with a particular emphasis on the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix as riders make their way to and from Phillip Island in a little over a week.

Forty-seven people were killed on roads during the past five years in October in the eastern region of Victoria.

Of these 47, 21 per cent were riders.

The operation is focused on reducing injuries and fatal collisions, and pays particular attention to the increased number of motorcycle riders in the area for the month and motorists' general driving behaviours.

Eastern Region Road Policing Inspector Stewart Westfield said motorcyclists were vulnerable road users, and it was up to everyone on the roads to take care.

"There's no doubt that with the warmer weather upon us and with the grand prix coming up we do see an increase in the number of riders coming through our area," he said.

"We all need to look after each other, no matter what mode of transport you're in, stay within the speed limit and take regular breaks on long journeys.

"The grand prix will be a major focus of the operation, with police out and about on all roads leading to Phillip Island between October 19 and 22."

Random breath testing sites and road blocks will be set up, with police also using automatic number plate recognition technology to detect unregistered and unroadworthy vehicles.

Police will also be at the track to make sure the event is enjoyable and trouble-free for patrons.

Inspector Westfield said crowd behaviour at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in previous years was positive.

"We are hoping and expect the good behaviour to continue at this year's event," he said.

"Drunkenness and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated; police will not hesitate to evict unruly fans from the event."

The operation involves all available members from eastern region highway patrol units, general duties uniform members and state highway patrol.

Gippsland Senior
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