Victoria’s road toll is the worst in three years with the Andrews Labor Government joining forces with Victoria Police and the Transport Accident Commission to work hard to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford today joined representatives from Victoria Police, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the newly created Road Safety Victoria to reflect on the heartbreaking year and urge all Victorians to take extra care on our roads.
Last year, 263 Victorians lost their lives on Victorian roads and hundreds more families have been shattered – a daughter who will grow up without a dad, a friend who has lost their best mate or a sister whose life has been forever changed from a catastrophic injury.
Fatal crashes were up across every road user group including drivers and passengers, and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Speeding, drink and drug driving, distraction, fatigue and not wearing seatbelts were all common contributing factors to the increased road toll. Speed was a factor in 22 per cent of crashes, around one in five crashes involved fatigue and distractions like mobile phones are having deadly consequences.
Victoria has always been a world leader in its road safety approach – from the introduction of compulsory seat belt laws to the no tolerance approach to drink driving, but more needs to be done to make our roads safer.
Last year, the Labor Government committed more than $120 million dollars to increase mobile speed camera enforcement by 75 per cent. To support this, a new fleet of state-of-the-art mobile road safety cameras is currently being rolled out at more locations across Victoria.
Victoria Police have been given greater powers for on-the-spot license suspensions for excessive speeding, to help stop dangerous hoon drivers in their tracks.
The Government is also installing proven road safety infrastructure, including flexible safety barriers that are saving lives on high speed roads. Over 2,300 kilometres of road safety barriers have already been installed which has seen the number of deaths and serious injuries on these roads almost halved.
For the first time ever, no lives were lost on the Hume Freeway, with more than 230 barrier hits each representing a potential saved life or injury avoided.
People dying on our roads is a preventable tragedy which is why the Government has also established Road Safety Victoria and work is well underway to develop Victoria’s next road safety strategy.
As noted by Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford
“It’s been a devastating year on Victoria’s roads with every loss of life someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife or friend who will not come home tonight.”
“That’s why we’re cracking down on dangerous driving, building safer roads and working on the next road safety strategy – but every Victorian has a role to play, to stop speeding, to put the phone away and drive safely.”