Police will be out in force this Queen’s Birthday long weekend to help curb the tragic number of lives lost on Victorian roads.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today joined Victoria Police to launch Operation Regal, which will see every available police officer targeting dangerous and distracted drivers.

“Our police and emergency services want to see everyone get to their destinations safely this long weekend, instead of them having to turn up to fatalities or serious crashes,” Minister Lisa Neville said.

It’s been a horrific start to the first half of the year, with a number of lives lost on Victorian roads already at an alarming 143 – 55 more than the same time last year.

“All Victorians have a role to play in reducing our road toll. Anyone who is distracted, impaired or driving dangerously will be met by a visible Victoria Police presence and will face the consequences of their actions,” Minister Neville said.

The four-day road safety campaign will target holiday hot spots, regional highways and city roads. Local police officers will be supported by specialist resources including the alcohol and drug buses, the highway patrol, heavy vehicle unit, the solo unit motorcycles and the operations response unit.

Alcohol and drug buses will be deployed across both metropolitan and regional Victoria. First-time drug drivers face mandatory minimum six-month licence cancellations, while minimum three-month licence cancellations apply for first-time drink drivers.

With police and emergency services out in force, drivers are reminded that they must slow down to 40km/h when approaching and passing emergency service vehicles with flashing lights or sirens.

Last year, five people were killed over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend including a cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian and two drivers.

“One life lost is one too many – and that’s why we’re continuing our unprecedented investment through our Towards Zero strategy and road safety upgrades across Victoria,” Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford said.

One in every 14 drivers tested delivered a positive result for drugs, while 227 drink drivers were detected. More than 3100 motorists were caught speeding, 341 were fined for using their mobile phones and 256 seat belt offences were detected.

The Victorian Budget 2019/20 included $120.6 million to crack down on dangerous driving by boosting mobile speed camera hours by 75 per cent.

The Andrews Labor Government has also provided more than $2.1 billion to boost frontline police numbers, increase roadside drug tests, replace the alcohol and drug bus fleet, roll out Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology across the Highway Patrol fleet and strengthen road safety laws.

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