Mike Stevens | Feb 2, 2012

Victoria Police has announced a new 14-day operation across Melbourne's inner suburbs in February.

Dubbed Operation Halo, the campaign will focus on the danger of road trauma involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Officers will not be targeting any specific group of road users, but rather focusing on reducing road trauma involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

"Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders are our most vulnerable road users and we have been particularly concerned about the 26 per cent rise in pedestrian fatalities last year," Head of Road Policing Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said.

The operation will see about 100 police a day working across the Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra, Boroondara and Stonnington Police Service Areas targeting issues that contribute to vulnerable road user collisions.

The five inner-Melbourne councils have been selected for the operation due to high rates of road trauma involving vulnerable road users in each area.

"We won't only be targeting pedestrians, cyclist and motorcycle riders who breach the road rules. We will also be targeting offences committed by drivers of motorcycles, cars and heavy vehicles who contribute to this road trauma."

Walshe said that targeted offences will include driving in marked bicycle lanes, driving whilst distracted, speeding or failing to give way at intersections.

"We need pedestrians to look up from their phone, pull out the earphones and be aware of their surroundings at all times and comply with pedestrian signals," he said.

"We need motorcyclists to ride with care in heavy traffic and be aware of the dangers of lane splitting or riding in bicycle lanes."

"We need cyclists to obey traffic lights and signs and ride with caution in built up traffic. And we need drivers to always look for cyclists, motorbikes and pedestrians, particularly at busy intersections and when opening car doors."

News of the operation follows an altercation between cricketer Shane Warne and a Melbourne cyclist. This week, the cyclist launched a civil claim against Warne in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, seeking damages.

 

2011 Road Toll

Statistics for Victoria's 2011 road toll have also been released this week.

  • There were 129 deaths in metropolitan Melbourne, up from 125 in 2010.
  • There were 158 deaths in country Victoria, down from 163 in 2010.
  • Victoria recorded 5.1 deaths per 100,000 population compared to 5.91 in the rest of Australia in 2011.
  • There were 49 pedestrian deaths, an increase of 26 per cent.
  • People aged over 70 accounted for 16 pedestrian fatalities (32 per cent), 12 people killed were aged 80 or above (24 per cent).
  • Forty-nine fatalities (17 per cent) were motorcyclists, equal to 2010 but an increase of four on the five year average.
  • Five of the motorcyclists (13 per cent) were not wearing a helmet.
  • Of the eight fatalities involving cyclists, 50 per cent (four) were not wearing a helmet.
  • Heavy vehicles were involved in 38 fatal collisions (15 per cent), a decrease of 21 per cent.
  • Thirty-six (26 per cent) of drivers and passengers killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
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