Operation Regal launching for King’s Birthday weekend

Operation Regal is set to be launched for King's Birthday weekend. Picture: ON FILE

Victoria Police collision data has revealed the afternoon as a danger period for motorists during winter.

New analysis shows more than 40 per cent of collisions resulting in injury between June and August occurred between midday and 6pm.

Police are urging drivers to take extra care, with reduced daylight and wintry conditions affecting visibility on the roads.

The warning comes as police launch Operation Regal, a statewide road policing effort over the King’s Birthday long weekend aimed at reducing road trauma.

Assistant Commissioner Road Policing Glenn Weir said the crash data shows the afternoon is the most dangerous time on the roads in winter.

“We know it’s a time of day when there’s a lot of traffic on the roads but in the colder months it’s also darker earlier and motorists have to contend with wet weather,” he said.

“That means it’s harder to see, takes more time to stop when the road surface is slippery and there’s less room for error,”

“This analysis should serve as a reminder to all motorists heading into this long weekend to take extra care, particularly if the weather is challenging and you have to factor in poor visibility or conditions like rain, ice or snow.”

Victoria Police intelligence – covering the last five years – shows on average 43 per cent of winter collisions occurred in the afternoon between 12pm and 6pm.

Around 7800 injury collisions were recorded during the time period between 2019 and 2023.

Statewide Friday between 12pm and 6pm was identified as the most dangerous time during winter overall, with around 1200 injury collisions and 21 fatal collisions recorded during the five-year period.

Injury collisions on regional roads most commonly occurred on Saturday between 12pm and 6pm during the winter months.

Ass Commr Weir said as always, police will be highly visible and enforcing across the King’s Birthday long weekend.

“Stay safe and avoid being in a collision by slowing down, remaining a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front and using headlights to see and be seen,” he said.

“Last year we issued more than 6500 infringements, so if you’re caught doing the wrong thing and put other road users at risk, you will be penalised.”

With Victoria’s snow season set to launch this weekend, police will be highly visible and enforcing on major arterials and roads leading to alpine areas.

Those heading to the snow are being urged to monitor conditions prior to travelling and ensure they’re carrying and using appropriate wheel chains as legally required.

With several events and festivals scheduled across the weekend, police are also reminding motorists to avoid driving while impaired, with widespread drug and alcohol testing to be conducted.

Last year, police issued more than 6500 infringements during Operation Regal. There were 2652 motorists detected speeding, 366 detected for drink and drug driving offences and 224 caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel.

Operation Regal starts at 12.01am Friday 7 June and ends at 11.59pm on Monday 10 June 2024.