Victoria Police is issuing a critical road safety alert as the state enters an especially high-risk period for death and serious injury.
Eleven lives were lost in eleven days at the same time last year and police are concerned about a repeat, especially as traffic volumes increase towards the end of the year and wild spring weather continues to cause hazardous driving conditions.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Justin Goldsmith said:
“We are entering a particularly high-risk period on Victorian roads that saw 11 live lost in 11 days last year. Now is not the time to be complacent when getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it was distraction and basic road user errors during this period last year that resulted in the most fatalities, which just shows that a simple lapse in concentration can have catastrophic consequences.”
The alert comes as the state recorded ten lives lost on Victorian roads this month, bringing the total lives lost to 222 – 24 higher than the same time last year, and significantly up on the five-year average.
Distraction, including mobile phone use was cited as the most common underlying factor in collisions during the period of concern, spanning from 22 November to 2 December 2022.
Poor compliance with common road rules, such as failing to give way and failing to keep left were also contributing factors to fatal collisions during this period.
More than half of the collisions occurred on regional roads, and older drivers were overrepresented, with one-third of collisions involving a driver aged over 65.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Goldsmith adds:
“Slowing down, remaining alert and being extra cautious during periods of wild weather are simple, but ultimately life-saving measures that all motorists can take to protect themselves and other road users. Police will be doing everything they can to reduce road trauma during this high-risk period, but we need everyone to do their bit.”
Police are determined to avoid a repeat of these concerning road trauma trends and are urging motorists to take extra care, with December considered one of the highest-risk periods on Victorian roads for collisions.
Victoria Police will increase its enforcement efforts and remain highly visible on roads throughout December, with a statewide road policing operation to come into effect prior to Christmas.
Police will increase its focus on alcohol and drug testing and are warning all motorists to plan ahead when attending social events during the festive period.
For more information and tips for staying safe on the roads visit the Road Safety page on the Victoria Police website.