A highly visible police presence will target motorcyclists on Victorian country roads enjoying the warmer spring weather in Operation Argus this weekend. Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane says officers would have a “heavy emphasis on motorcycle safety”. “As we head into spring we expect riders to start getting their bikes out of the garage and making the most of the warmer weather,” he says. “We don’t want to see a repeat of the beginning of the year, where too many people never finished their ride. “If a motorcyclist leaves the road, they don’t stand much of a chance. Sadly we have already seen more riders die on our roads this year than the whole of 2018.” So far this year, 32 riders have died on Victorian roads compared with 21 by the same time last year and the five-year average of 24, according to the Traffic Accident Commission. Over the past 12 months 49 have died compared with 34 the previous 12 months and the five-year average of 38. Operation Argus follows a police report last month that demonised riders as thrill seekers. However, Victorian Motorcycle Council media spokesman John Eacott said the scant Victorian Police assessment of crash statistics was “absolutely meaningless”. Visible police presence Beautiful Victorian spring weather entices riders The highly visible police presence will target speeding, drink and drug driving, fatigue, seatbelt offences and driver distraction. There will also be a strong focus on country roads, where the increase in lives lost has predominantly occurred. “Road trauma doesn’t discriminate and we have seen that time and time again – we just can’t afford to take gambles on the road,” AC Leane says. “We’re taking road safety seriously and we need Victorian motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to do the same.” Operation Argus runs from 12.01am tomorrow (5 September 2019) to 11.59pm Sunday (8 September).