The Victorian Government has reinforced its focus on reducing road trauma in the new year, after the number of people killed on Victoria’s roads increased in 2022.
As the year ended, tragically 240 people lost their lives on Victorian roads – an increase on the 233 deaths last year, but the fourth lowest since TAC records began, including the pandemic-effected record low of 211 in 2020.
Sadly, motorists on regional roads remain a significant concern with 134 people dying in country areas compared with 119 in 2021 – while metropolitan road deaths dropped from 114 in 2021 to 106 in 2022.
More than two-thirds of regional fatalities occurred on 100-110km/h roads. Crashes on rural high-speed roads continue to be too frequent, where the combination of high speeds and motorists travelling longer distances mean consequences are often more severe when something goes wrong.
There was a decline in driver and passenger deaths (126 down from 147) – however, 27 per cent of people who died in a vehicle were not wearing a seatbelt. Sadly, vulnerable road users including motorcyclist (57 up from 43) and pedestrian (44 up from 29) fatalities increased year-on-year.
Disappointingly, poor driver behaviour, including speeding and drink or drug driving, continues to contribute to lives lost on the roads, together with a large proportion (40 per cent) of unauthorised motorcyclists.
Victoria has historically been a world leader in road safety – from the introduction of compulsory seat belt laws to a no tolerance approach to drink driving, but work will not be complete until no lives are lost on the roads.
The Victorian Government continues its unprecedented action to protect lives, improve safety and achieve the targets set out in its Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 and Action Plan – including halving the number of fatalities by 2030, with work focused across education, infrastructure, enforcement, policy and technology.
Initiatives target road user cohorts that are most at-risk – including vulnerable and unprotected road users, people who drive for work and roadside workers, and those who engage in high-risk behaviour.
The Victorian Budget 2021/22 also invested $49.4 million to install and commission new fixed road safety cameras at 35 dangerous intersection sites and two point-to-point highway camera systems. These cameras will begin enforcing throughout 2023.
In 2023, Victorians are once again urged to slow down, put the phone away, never drive drunk or on drugs, take adequate breaks when driving long distances, and be aware of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Quote attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne
“Our hearts go out to all those impacted by road trauma – we can’t accept that anyone should lose their life, or have it permanently changed, as a result of getting behind the wheel.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Police Anthony Carbines
“We want to see all Victorians making smart choices behind the wheel this new year and getting home safely. If you speed, use your phone or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, rest assured — you will be caught.”
Quote attributable to TAC Acting Chief Executive Officer Liz Cairns
“Sadly, more than 240 families are starting this year missing a loved one who lost their life on our roads in 2022 – it’s tragic, it’s avoidable and we need all Victorians to make safe choices and play a role in turning it around.”
Quote attributable to Acting Head of Road Safety Victoria Marcelo Vidales
“Too many people lost their lives this year and our thoughts are with the families and communities missing a loved one – there is more to be done and we will not stop working until all Victorians are safe on or around our roads.”
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