Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Too many lives lost on our roads in 2019

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VICTORIA’S road toll for 2019 was the worst in three years and the Andrews Labor Government is joining forces with Victoria Police and the Transport Accident Commission to work hard to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

It’s been a devastatin­g year on Victoria’s roads with 264 Victorians losing their lives and hundreds more families have been shattered.

Every loss of life is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife or friend who will not come home.

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.

Last year 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-theart mobile road safety cameras is currently being rolled out at more locations across Victoria.

Victoria Police has been given greater powers for on-the-spot licence 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 2300 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.

Jaala Pulford, Minister for Roads, Roads Safety and the TAC

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