VicPol Corporate

Thousands detected during Operation Arid

Tuesday 14 March 2023 2:49am

Police detected almost 7000 traffic offences during a four-day statewide road policing operation over the Labour Day long weekend.

Operation Arid saw police ramp up enforcement following a shocking start to the year on Victoria’s roads.

There have been 74 lives lost in the first 73 days of the year, 45 per cent higher than the same time last year and the five-year average – both 51.

Speeding, impaired driving, mobile phone use and unauthorised driving were the key issues detected by police during the four-day operation.

More than a third of offences detected related to speeding, with almost 80 per cent of speeding motorists detected between 10km/h and 25km/h over the speed limit.

There were almost as many drug drivers caught as drink drivers, with 198 drink driving offences and 192 drug driving offences detected.

Mobile phone offences jumped 23 per cent from the last statewide operation in January, with 323 motorists caught using their phone while driving.

Unauthorised drivers accounted for 396 offences, with police using automatic numberplate recognition technology (ANPR) to detect and remove disqualified, suspended and unlicenced drivers from the road.

The total 6764 offences detected during Operation Arid included:

• 2573 speeding offences;

• 727 unregistered vehicles;

• 396 disqualified/suspended and unlicenced drivers;

• 323 mobile phone offences;

• 313 disobey signs/signals;

• 198 drink driving offences from 107,435 preliminary breath tests;

• 192 drug driving offences from 3454 roadside drug tests;

• 159 seatbelt offences; and

• 123 vehicle impoundments.

There were two lives lost on Victorian roads over the long weekend with fatal collisions in Barnawartha North on Saturday and Wangaratta on Monday.

There have been 11 lives lost to date in March, historically the highest-risk month on Victorian roads.

Operation Arid ran from 12:01am on Friday 10 March and concluded at 23:59pm on Monday 13 March 2023.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Glenn Weir:

"Considering it was a long weekend, with high traffic volumes and good weather, we saw the majority of people doing the right thing on our roads.

“Disappointingly though, we continue to detect motorists for the type of behaviour that’s been contributing to road trauma this year – that being speed, distraction, and impaired driving.

“It is simply not good enough to just ignore the warnings – the reality is, there has been more lives lost on our roads than there have been days this year.

“Police are constantly engaging with the community to educate first and enforce when the message doesn’t get through and we make no apologies for this. We are doing everything we can to reduce trauma on our roads.

“March is a busy time with footy returning, lots of major events and good weather – so if you’re out and about this month, you can expect us to be out too”.

Media Unit


Reviewed 14 March 2023