Po­lice out and about be­fore Moto GP event

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­outhie@ne­me­dia.com.au

WAN­GARATTA High­way Pa­trol (WHP) has been tak­ing part in Op­er­a­tion Mo­toSafe all this month in the lead up to this week­end’s Aus­tralian Mo­tor­cy­cle Grand Prix at Phillip Is­land.

The op­er­a­tion, which will run through­out the en­tire East­ern Re­gion, aims to re­duce fa­tal and se­ri­ous in­jury col­li­sions in the re­gion and putting mo­tor­cy­clist safety at the fore­front of drivers’ and rid­ers’ minds.

There were 87 road- re­lated deaths and 1341 per­sons in­jured in se­ri­ous in­jury col­li­sions in the East­ern Re­gion in 2017, with 6.89 per cent (6) road deaths and 9.24 per cent (124) per­sons se­ri­ously in­jured of those oc­cur­ring dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber.

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tion po­lice will fo­cus on re­duc- ing the num­ber of se­ri­ous in­jury col­li­sions in­volv­ing drink and drug drivers, as well as fa­tigue and driver er­ror-re­lated crashes.

WHP Act­ing Sergeant Patrick Mur­ray said with the finer weather here more rid­ers are get­ting their mo­tor­bikes out on the road.

“Their be­hav­iour in our re­gion has been good so far and, de­spite the in­crease in road users, on the most part they’ve been do­ing the right thing,” he said.

“We will main­tain a higher than usual po­lice pres­ence to make sure the be­hav­iour re­mains at that level.”

East­ern Re­gion Road Polic­ing In­spec­tor Ste­wart West­field said the op­er­a­tion’s fo­cus would vary in each po­lice re­sponse zone dur­ing the month-long pe­riod.

“We will tar­get all as­pects of road polic­ing and all types of road users where risk-tak­ing be­hav­iour is ev­i­dent,” he said.

“Mo­tor­cy­clists are over­rep­re­sented in road trauma dur­ing the month of Octo- ber and as well as aim­ing to drive down road trauma, this is also about the hun­dreds of peo­ple af­fected each year by road deaths and se­ri­ous in­jury col­li­sions.”

The grand prix will be a ma­jor fo­cus of the op­er­a­tion with a highly vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence en­sur­ing vis­i­tors to Phillip Is­land ar­rive safely.

Be­tween Oc­to­ber 25 and 28, po­lice will be on pa­trol in and around the race track and on all roads lead­ing to Phillip Is­land.

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