Victoria Police are urging road users to put safety first after a disastrous long weekend on the roads.

Police descended on holiday hot-spots, regional highways and city roads to target speeding and distracted drivers during the Australia Day weekend as part of Operation Amity.

Five lives were lost on Victorian roads during the operation, which left the road toll at 22 – six more than the same time last year.

Police detected more than 6500 traffic offences during the four-day operation, including more than 2200 for speeding and 371 for drink and drug driving.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said it was a disappointing result.

“We all know that speed and impairment are among the biggest killers on our roads, so it’s astounding to see so many motorists exceeding the speed limit or driving after drinking or using drugs,” he said.

“Last year saw a record low number of lives lost in Victoria, with 214, but the tragic start to 2019 shows that we can’t afford to be complacent.

“Just this weekend, five families have been left devastated by the loss of a loved one, as have another 17 families since the start of the year.”

Brimbank police impounded one vehicle and detected 38 speeding offences, 29 unregistered vehicles, nine drug drivers, two drink drivers, six disqualified drivers and 14 unlicensed drivers during the operation.

Seven mobile phone offences, five seatbelt offences and four disobey signs/signals were detected.

No lives were lost on Brimbank roads, but Assistant Commissioner Leane said the community needed to have a serious conversation about the responsibility each road user had in reducing road trauma.

“We all have a part to play in reducing road trauma, whether that’s avoiding behaviors that increase risk, such as speeding or impairment, or speaking up when someone is putting themselves or others in danger,” he said.

“A good starting point might be for everyone to understand that road trauma isn’t just something that happens to other people.

“It is unlikely there is anyone in Victoria, or anywhere else, who doesn’t know someone who has lost their life or been seriously injured on our roads.

“It can and does happen to people who are close to you and it can happen to you, too – so we all need to look after each other on our roads.”