Fewer Vic­to­ri­ans dy­ing on coun­try roads

Shepparton News - Country News - - DAIRY -

Re­gional Vic­to­ria has recorded its low­est num­ber of road deaths since records be­gan, but the 109 lives lost on coun­try roads last year is still 109 too many.

Vic­to­rian Roads and Road Safety Min­is­ter Jaala Pul­ford last week joined rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Trans­port Ac­ci­dent Com­mis­sion and Re­gional Roads to re­flect on road trauma in re­gional Vic­to­ria in 2018.

Data re­leased by the Trans­port Ac­ci­dent Com­mis­sion shows 109 peo­ple lost their lives on Vic­to­ria’s re­gional roads in 2018, 47 fewer than in 2017 and 29 less than the pre­vi­ous record low of 138 in 2008.

De­spite this, peo­ple are still far more likely to die on coun­try roads, which is why the An­drews Gov­ern­ment says it is con­tin­u­ing to in­stall life-saving road safety in­fra­struc­ture like flex­i­ble safety bar­ri­ers.

Ms Pul­ford said with about 1500 km of bar­ri­ers rolled out, thou­sands of bar­rier hits recorded across the state and a steep re­duc­tion in deaths on high-speed re­gional roads in 2018, this in­fra­struc­ture was re­duc­ing the sever­ity of crashes and saving lives.

Deaths on high-speed re­gional roads dropped sig­nif­i­cantly last year, with 67 peo­ple los­ing their lives on 100 km/h roads com­pared with 119 in 2017.

The num­ber of sin­gle-ve­hi­cle and headon crashes have also dropped across the state, but they re­main the lead­ing causes of fa­tal crashes in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

Head-on crashes re­sulted in 21 deaths and 53 peo­ple died in a sin­gle-ve­hi­cle crash on the road­side, down from 37 head-on crashes and 72 sin­gle-ve­hi­cle crashes in 2017.

Young driver deaths (aged 18 to 25) re­duced dra­mat­i­cally in 2018, with 14 deaths com­pared with 31 in 2017.

In 2018, Vic­to­ria also in­tro­duced the tough­est penal­ties for drink and drug driv­ing in Aus­tralia, and in­tro­duced tough new sanc­tions for high-level speed­ing, as part of sweep­ing changes to make the roads safer.

Ms Pul­ford said any re­duc­tion in the num­ber of peo­ple dy­ing on our roads was al­ways wel­come, but the sad fact re­mained that there were far too many ru­ral fam­i­lies start­ing the new year with­out a loved one.

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