“IT'S absolutely horrific.”
Knocking on a door to say your loved one is not going to make it home for Christmas is the toughest job local police will have this year.
In a push to prevent it, a crackdown on the roads will kick off at midnight tonight when double demerits come into force.
Police have cancelled their leave and are preparing a statewide assault on the roads as part of Operation Safe Arrival.
“An accident at any stage is traumatic – but when you start looking at the impacts on the broader scale, to lose someone at this time of year is horrendous,” Barwon highway patrol cluster Senior Sergeant Peter McMenamin said.
“To knock on a door and let them know that a loved one won’t be coming home ... it’s just absolutely horrific for all people concerned.”
Police are warning of hefty fines and big demerit point hits if drivers flout the rules – meaning you could lose your licence on the spot for some offences.
Senior Sergeant McMenamin said the next few weeks would be some of the busiest of the year as thousands of locals prepare to hit the road and take off on holidays.
“We have organised our rosters so we will have maximum coverage,” he said.
“We will be targeting the main causal factors for accidents, including speed, fatigue and restraint, obviously focusing on random breath tests – both stationary and mobile – and make our presence felt.”
Locals are urged to take their time travelling to their destination, get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road, be prepared for delays and drive to the conditions.
Senior Sergeant McMenamin is also warning those celebrating to stop drinking early if they plan to get behind the wheel the next morning.
“Residual alcohol is a significant issue and can impact you the next morning,” he said.
“The last thing you want is to be arrested and charged with drink-driving at Christmas.”
Double demerits are in force until January 2.