Victorian police will be working on two fronts this weekend as police target non-essential road travel and the usual Easter-time driving offenses.
Besides the usual traffic infringements, Victorians can expect a fine of up to $1600 for non-essential travel—the highest fine for committing the offense in any of the eight Australian states and territories.
Speaking at a press conference on April 9, Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy outlined the state’s road enforcement plans.
“State highway patrol, our uniform members, our normal highway patrol, heavy vehicle unit—they will all be out on the roads across Easter. You may not see booze buses but you will see an increased focus and presence in relation to breath testing, and drug testing,” she said.
“Whilst you will not see some normal models of policing, what you will actually see is a very, very visible police presence which are ready to enforce if you are breaking the law,” she said.
Operation Nexus runs for just the five-day Easter long weekend, from midnight on April 9 to midnight on April 13. The aim of this operation is to reduce trauma-related incidents and promote calm on the roads.
Since the state of emergency was declared in Victoria on March 16, the loss of life due to road incidents toll is 18 people. During Easter last year there were three road deaths recorded in the state.
Asked why there hasn’t been a reduction in road deaths since fewer people are on the roads due to the CCP virus lockdown, Murphy said, “People still need to be mindful of their behaviour on the roads.” She reiterated this point, reminding people to be mindful on the roads regardless of the [“COVID-19”] outbreak.
Operation Nexus will run alongside the existing Operation Sentinel as a two-pronged enforcement on travel and road safety. There are four exemptions to the rule: people traveling for work, medical, exercise, or shopping.
People are being urged to stop and consider whether the trip they are making really needs to be done. In the next-door state of New South Wales, Richmond police are using the social media tag #stayhome on Facebook as a way to tell people this message.
Out of Australia’s eight states and territories only New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory have no border restrictions in place. Major tourist locations are also closed to holidaymakers, however in some circumstances and depending on which state, locals are free to visit beaches and parks for exercise.