'Killer Bridge' blitz to stop hoon drivers

Police pledge to hold blitzes on a notorious stretch of road that includes "killer bridge"

By Samantha Freestone | March 18, 2010

After three deaths and nine serious incidents in the Melbourne suburb of Melton, government and police are joining forces to "blitz" a stretch known as "killer bridge".

Diggers Rest – Coimadai road is a two-lane, two-way rural road with a poor past record in terms of safety.

Following a traffic operation yesterday that stopped every vehicle passing the bridge, police plan to repeat the move without warning in future. The action has been backed by Melton Council and VicRoads.

Regional Director for VicRoads Nial Finegan says after $2.1 million dollars in upgrades to the bridge last year and an education program executed through Melton Council’s ‘Road 2 Zero’ strategy, the next step was to have a "zero tolerance approach".

"From now on, there will be unknown dates where they will pull up every vehicle and charge them for any offences discovered," he says.

"There were too many fatalities at this location. A lot of people were crossing double lines and driving recklessly."

The blitz is part of the Victorian Government’s ‘Safe System Approach’ with upgrades funded under the Victorian Government’s road safety strategy.

Finegan says the area is used frequently by heavy vehicles, although he did say local quarry businesses were "very helpful" while organising the blitz.

"All vehicles will be stopped. All vehicles will be inspected and all drivers are strongly advised to abide by the road rules in the Melton area as well as across Victoria," he says.

"VicRoads, Victoria Police and the community are working together to make sure that people travelling through this area arrive at their destination safely."

Finegan hopes a combined education, enforcement and engineering effort will stop serious crashes.

VicRoads completed safety improvement works last year including widening the bridge over Djerriwarrh Creek and the road through the valley, resurfacing the road, improving signs and barriers and improving visibility of the road and surroundings for drivers.

Victoria Police and VicRoads will be patrolling the area the next couple of weeks to ensure drivers are following the road rules.

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