The Victorian Government is urging Victorians to be safe on the roads as more people prepare to move around the state this Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
With travel in regional Victoria and overnight stays now allowed, the message to Victorians is to stay safe, by keeping our distance, practicing good hygiene and staying home if you are unwell. The stay safe message is also extended to the state’s roads, with people urged to make safe choices and look out for each other.
In the past two months, while stage-three coronavirus restrictions have been in effect, there has been a reduction in road deaths, with 31 lives lost across April and May, compared to 57 across the same period last year.
In May alone, there was 15 deaths, compared with 33 last year.
So far this year, 97 people have been killed on the state’s roads, compared with 134 at the same time in 2019.
While the reduction in lives lost is welcome, the sad fact is that there are still almost 100 Victorian families mourning a loved one lost on our roads this year.
The plea for safety not only comes with increased travel expected as restrictions ease ahead of the long weekend, but also as winter weather sets in across the state.
Wintry conditions magnify the dangers of driving, particularly on country Victorian roads, with black ice, fog, mist, rain, wind and land slips all potential hazards.
Police will be out in force across regional Victoria, with Operation Regal focusing on the fatal five of road trauma – speeding, drink and drug drivers, fatigue, driver distraction and people not wearing seatbelts.
Some Victorians may not have driven a long distance for some time, or at higher speeds, so it is critical that people are cautious, plan ahead, avoid distractions and take their time to get to their destination safely.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Jaala Pulford
“Victorians have done an excellent job at staying home to keep each other safe and now that more people are moving around the state, we want everyone to play their part in keeping the roads safe as well.”
“Any decrease in loss of life on our roads is encouraging and we want to see that trend continue every month of every year, because there are still too many people dying on our roads.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“As restrictions gradually ease and with the long weekend approaching, we are asking everyone to prioritise safety when using our roads – the message is to slow down, avoid distraction, plan your journey and don’t take risks.”
Quote attributable to Transport Accident Commission CEO, Joe Calafiore
“We’ve seen fewer deaths this year as well as a welcome reduction in lives lost on regional roads, which is where we too often see a higher number of fatalities.”