$4957 fine introduced to keep Melburnians out of regional Victoria

Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent speaking today. Image: Victoria Police.
Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent speaking today. Image: Victoria Police.

Melburnians who break the rules and enter regional Victoria illegally will be fined almost $5000 under a new fine to be introduced as of midnight on Wednesday.

The new law, designed to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in regional Victoria, was announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The new offence has been labelled "failure to comply with requirements to remain in a restricted area" and comes with a $4957 fine.

It will apply to all people illegally leaving Melbourne to enter the regions. The existing $1652 for illegal travel within Melbourne remain.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said the new fine will be coupled with increased police presence on the roads.

The seven permanent checkpoints will be vastly increased in strength and there will be additional police presence on other roads.

Cars filled with suspected holidaymakers, either towing caravans or boats or loaded with holiday equipment, will be particularly in the sights of police.

Public transport will also be closely monitored.

"We will be highly visible and active to prevent people entering regional areas, particularly during the school holidays," Deputy Commissioner Nugent said.

"We don't want the virus to spread again into the regions.

"If there's mum and dad, they both get the fine, so that's almost $10,000."

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Deputy Commissioner Nugent said there would also be extra resources on the backroads, with automatic number plate recognition being used to identify Melbourne motorists.

He said in terms of delays at the checkpoints, police had previously tried to maintain a 15-minute delay. However, this wait is expected to be greatly extended in the future.

It was also revealed it is legal for regional people to drive through metropolitan Melbourne in order to get through to the other side of Victoria.

"We want to check as many vehicles as we can possibly check," he said.

"The aim is to check every car."

This story Hefty fine introduced to keep Melburnians out of regional Victoria first appeared on The Courier.