Riders face long delays getting to the MotoGP at Phillip Island this month as Victorian Police have warned riders of a heavy presence in and around the track and eastern Victoria region.
In what they refer to as “Operation Motosafe”, they will have road blocks, random breath testing and number plate identification to check for illegal motorcycles.
In previous years, Victorian Police have been accused of being heavy handed and discriminatory with riders before and after the MotoGP event.
Some have even sworn not to attend future events as a result.
This year, the Victorian Police are claiming their operation is about the safety of riders and will run throughout this month in Eastern Victoria was riders start arriving from around the country for the October 18 race.
“Police are putting motorcyclist safety at the forefront of their minds as they gear up for Operation Motosafe,” their press release states.
“Forty-seven people have been killed and 781 seriously injured on eastern region roads during the month of October between 2010 and 2014.
“Operation Motosafe is designed to ensure a maximum visible policing presence in an endeavour to reduce road trauma in particular involving motorcycles.
“The grand prix will be a major focus of the operation with a highly visible police presence ensuring visitors to Phillip Island arrive safely.”
The release also says police will be on patrol in and around the race track and roads leafing to the island over the MotoGP weekend with riders again expected to wait in long queues at police road blocks.
“Random breath testing sites and road blocks will be set up during the operation, with police also using automated number plate recognition technology to detect any unregistered and unroadworthy vehicles,” the police release says.
“There will also be a police presence at the track to ensure the event is enjoyable and trouble-free for patrons.”
The release quotes Senior Sergeant Dave Watson saying crowd behaviour at the Australian MotoGP in previous years has been positive, but that “drunkenness and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated”. Offenders will be evicted.