Victorian Police will work an extra 300 shifts over the next 10 weeks to increase patrols of the state’s roads after a tragic start to the year. So far this year there have been 76 lives lost on Victorian roads compared with 51 at the same time last year. That includes 20 riders, double the number from 2018. The five-year rider fatality average is nine, according to figures from the Transport Accident Commission which is funding the extra police patrols. Consequently, motorcyclists rate a specific mention in the Victoria Police media release about the extra patrols which they call Operation Kinetic. In the latest rider fatality, a Harley-Davidson rider was found dead on Sunday morning (24 March 2019) by a passer-by on Gumley Rd, Mt Mercer. Police are yet to determine the cause of death and are investigating. Patrols for bad behaviour Road Policing Command say Operation Kinetic focuses on addressing bad behaviour of our road users. That includes drink and drug driving, high speed on rural roads, “as well as motorcyclist, pedestrian and cyclist safety”. Acting Assistant Commissioner Taylor says “different regions are battling different issues that drive up their road trauma”. Operation Kinetic will feature priority areas including Bendigo, Dandenong, Epping and Shepparton. Rider fatality on Melbourne’s Monash Freeway last month “Local police will look at problematic locations and particular patterns in bad driver behaviour and target accordingly,” he says. “This gives us our best chance to influence drivers across the whole state.” “We see first-hand time and time again the devastation experienced by the victims’ families, as well as our first responders directly because of road trauma. “Enough is enough and action needs to be taken. Every time a motorist sees police on the road it is a reminder to follow the roads rules. “We have seen increased motorist compliance from road rule enforcement, so we will have additional police in the community to make this happen. “The community can’t continue with their current driving habits as it is ultimately killing friends, family, and loved ones.” Victorian Motorcycle Council chairman Peter Baulch says the extra patrols were expected. “Given the circumstances (road toll for both cars and bikes is up markedly on last year), I think this reaction from both Police and their Political Masters is to be expected,” he says.