A staggering majority of road deaths continued to occur in rural and regional areas throughout 2019, with local police saying “ridiculous” speeds and complacency playing a significant part in the figures.
There was a total of 266 lives lost across the state in 2019, up by 24.9 percent from 2018 when 213 lives were lost, according to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
Of those 266 deaths, 146 occurred in regional Victoria and nearly three quarters of the people killed died close to their home address.
Across regional Victoria, 73 percent of deaths were people driving in their local region with run off road and head on crashes resulting in 94 fatalities while 101 people were killed in high speed zones.
After remaining free of any fatalities in 2018, the Central Goldfields Shire recorded two deaths on the road last year.
A 70-year-old man was killed in a two-car collision at Daisy Hill in March and in July a 95-year-old man died shortly after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing a road in Maryborough’s CBD on his mobility scooter.
Goldfields Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Georgie Thompson said all lives lost on the roads are a tragedy, not just for victims, their friends and family, but also for police.
“The number of lives lost on the roads in 2019 is absolutely a concern for us. In fact, all collisions are very concerning whether there are injuries or not,” she said.
“Fatalities are something that doesn’t just affect drivers and their friends and families, it’ll also impact police.
“They’ll take home that scene they’ve been to and it might keep playing over in their mind for quite a period of time which affects them emotionally, their partners, family and friends.
“We’d rather you get to your destination late than not at all, and so would your family.”
Act Sgt Thompson said complacency, people driving at “ridiculous” speeds, driver distraction and fatigue all play roles in fatal accidents.
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Friday, January 17