Make 2017 a safe one


THE New Year is a time many of us re­solve to eat health­ier or save more, but the Trans­port Ac­ci­dent Com­mis­sion is en­cour­ag­ing Vic­to­ri­ans to make a dif­fer­ent res­o­lu­tion for 2017 and be­yond.

The TAC is calling on Vic­to­ri­ans to make a com­mit­ment to them­selves and their loved ones to help re­duce the num­ber of lives lost on our roads.

TAC road safety man­ager Sa­man­tha Buckis urged every Vic­to­rian to con­sider the role they could play in re­duc­ing road trauma in 2017.

‘‘As Vic­to­ri­ans look for­ward to 2017 and start plan­ning what they would like to achieve in the fu­ture, we en­cour­age them to think about how they can con­trib­ute to re­duc­ing the num­ber of lives we lose on our roads each year,’’ Ms Buckis said.

‘‘Along­side more trips to the gym and a health­ier bank balance, a com­mit­ment to safer driv­ing should be added to the list of res­o­lu­tions.’’

For road users look­ing to im­prove their driv­ing be­hav­iour, the TAC sug­gests: slow­ing down, never us­ing a phone while driv­ing, buy­ing a safer car, al­ways plan­ning a safe way home from func­tions in­volv­ing al­co­hol and fac­tor­ing in rest stops on long trips.

‘‘Whether you’re liv­ing in metro- poli­tan or re­gional ar­eas, plan­ning a safe way home at this time of year is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant,’’ Ms Buckis said.

‘‘Plan­ning how you’re get­ting home means you can en­joy the night, without hav­ing to take the risk of get­ting be­hind the wheel.’’

While drink-driv­ing re­mains so­cially un­ac­cept­able for the vast ma­jor­ity of Vic­to­ri­ans, TAC re­search last year found one in 10 still got be­hind the wheel de­spite their al­co­hol in­take dur­ing the 12 months lead­ing into the sur­vey.

‘‘Re­search shows most Vic­to­ri­ans do the right thing, but drink-driv­ing re­mains one of the big­gest killers on our roads and we still have a way to go,’’ Ms Buckis said.

‘‘The re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with ev­ery­one — leave the keys be­hind if you’re go­ing to be con­sum­ing al­co­hol and plan a safe way home in­stead.’’

Avoid­ing get­ting be­hind the wheel while hun­gover and fac­tor­ing in rest stops on longer jour­neys are also im­por­tant re­minders for see­ing in the new year safely.

Nan­neella Es­tate Pri­mary School stu­dents Jamie Taig and Brooke Somerville try out In­done­sian food dur­ing a lunch in June 1999.

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