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State Park Safety

Police from Moorabool and Hepburn Springs, Moorabool and Ballarat Highway Patrols and the State Solo Section with Parks Victoria and DELWP as part of Operation Dorset. Photos – Moorabool Police Eyewatch

The state parks and forests in Moorabool often attract large numbers of motorcyclists and four-wheel enthusiasts, but the areas have also seen a significant increase in serious injury collisions.

Moorabool and Hepburn Springs police members, Moorabool and Ballarat Highway Patrols and the State Solo Section joined forces with Parks Victoria and DELWP to conduct Operation Dorset from Saturday, 21 September to Sunday, 22 September 2019.

The operation was conducted in the Lerderderg State Park and the Wombat State Forest had a simple aim of reducing serious injury collisions.

Police attended camp sites in the forests and parks used by trail riders to detect offences and educate riders to try and prevent these collisions.

According to Officer-in-Charge Sergeant Michael Kearnes, trail bike riders and four-wheel drivers make up nearly 20 per cent of all serious injuries in these regional areas.

“The overwhelming number of people spoken to are doing the right thing,” he said.

“Unfortunately, some people spoken to were not, which resulted in a number of penalty and unroadworthy notices being issued.”

A number of drivers will be summonsed to court for offences including drive whilst disqualified and drug driving.

“Our message to park users and recreational riders is please be safe,” said Sgt Kearnes.

“We’re aiming to educate all drivers about safety and to ensure they comply with the rules and regulations of these state forests and parks.”

During the operation, 256 parked and mobile vehicles were checked and 201 persons, including trail bike riders, bicyclists and hikers were spoken to.