February 20th, 2023Police warning on concerning rural road trauma trend
Victoria Police is issuing an urgent warning to regional motorists following a significant spike in lives lost on rural roads this year.
The latest police intelligence shows that there were 24 lives lost from collisions on rural roads as of 30 January, a 64 per cent increase on the five-year average for fatal regional collisions in January.
Of those 24 lives lost on rural roads, 21 resided in regional locations and two worked in regional centres.
Eighteen of the 21 fatal collisions occurred within 100km of the deceased’s residence.
More than 85 per cent of rural fatalities occurred on high-speed rural roads, with speed limits between 80km/h – 110km/h.
Police suspect driver error, resulting from distraction and inattention, has contributed significantly to rural road fatalities in January.
They’re urging regional road users to take more care as the state enters another particularly high-risk period.
There were eight lives lost in five days between 12 and 16 February last year – with six of those eight fatalities occurring on rural roads.
Police are determined to avoid a repeat of this concerning rural road trauma trend, with highway patrol deployments to be bolstered to regional areas throughout February, ahead of a statewide operation over the Labour Day long weekend in March.
It comes as Victoria has recorded 45 lives lost, up from 31 at the same time last year and well-above the five-year average of 27.
There have been 30 lives lost to date on rural roads in Victoria.
For more information and tips for staying safe on the roads visit the Road Safety page on the Victoria Police website.
Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Glenn Weir: “It is a common misconception that it’s not locals losing their lives on country roads. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The reality is, people residing in regional areas make up the majority of those killed on rural roads.
“Distraction and basic road user error is significantly contributing to regional lives lost. It just shows a simple lapse in concentration can have catastrophic consequences.
“It is imperative all road users remain alert, particularly when travelling on high-speed rural roads.
“It’s been a terrible start to the year on our roads, and we’re entering another particularly high-risk period. Please don’t be complacent and think that road trauma can’t happen to you, because a split-second of inattention is all it takes.
“Police will be doing everything they can to reduce road trauma during this high-risk period, but we need everyone to do their bit”