Kyabram Free Press

Double danger on our roads

- By Jamie Salter

With two in three road deaths occurring on regional roads, new research from the Australian Road Safety Foundation shows all Victorians have a personal responsibi­lity to take action.

Marking the fourth annual Rural Road Safety Month, the research revealed almost one in four of the state’s drivers utilised regional roads multiple times a week.

A third of all Victorians said personal travel was the number one reason for using regional roads. This was followed by visiting friends and family (30 per cent), living in the area (18 per cent) and travelling for work (14 per cent).

The report confirmed that 46 per cent of the Victorian population was more likely to drive longer trips this year.

ARSF chief executive Russell White said the research explained the high disparity between the number of road deaths occurring on regional Victorian roads compared to urban areas.

“We now have strong evidence that when it comes to preventing road trauma in regional areas, drivers from across greater Melbourne and built-up areas carry an equal responsibi­lity to local residents,” Mr White said.

The ARSF’S research found 29 per cent of drivers broke road rules in regional areas at least once a week, compared to 21 per cent in urban areas.

Distractio­n and the unlikeliho­od of getting caught were the top two reasons for taking road risks.

Mr White said the risks were preventabl­e for the majority of Victorian drivers.

“The risks being taken are choices," he said.

"It just really goes to show that empowering more people to choose road safety is going to have the biggest impact on reducing the tragic loss of life and serious injury on our roads."

 ?? Photo: Steve Huntley ?? Take care:
Two in three road deaths occur on regional roads.
Photo: Steve Huntley Take care: Two in three road deaths occur on regional roads.

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