Opinion

Stop accepting the stats

by
January 09, 2018

Victoria Police’s road policing operation during the Christmas and holiday period, Operation Roadwise, finished on Sunday night — with 31000 traffic offences detected.

No matter what rules, restrictions or safety measures police or government put in place, unacceptable driver behaviour will continue to risk more trauma and death on our roads.

Victoria Police’s road policing operation during the Christmas and holiday period, Operation Roadwise, finished on Sunday night — with 31000 traffic offences detected.

Sadly, 23 people lost their lives on our roads during the 24-day period.

In a grim start to this year, six of those have been in the first week and five of those six on country roads.

A Tawonga man, 41, was the latest victim after his car crashed into a tree about 8.15pm Sunday in his home town.

Police do not call car crashes accidents — they are collisions.

Since 2012, the lives lost each year in Victoria total 282, 243, 248, 252, 290, 263, 290 and 257.

Something needs to change because the number of fatalities has barely decreased in five years.

We are not generalising and calling most of the deaths on our roads to be the fault of the driver, but many of the deaths are somewhat avoidable.

Police have said in many of the fatal crashes people were not driving to the conditions or driving at an inappropriate speed.

Victoria Police Assistant Police Commissioner Doug Fryer said yesterday he did not want to see this number of almost one death a day.

‘‘This is not the start we wanted in 2018 and certainly not the start we needed for all Victorians,’’ he said.

A total of 31293 offences were detected across Operation Roadwise, including almost 2000 mobile phone offences, more than 1000 seatbelt offences and almost 2000 disobeying traffic controls.

Equally, if not more worrying, was the 10595 speeding offences, more than 1000 drink drivers and more than 800 drug drivers.

‘‘Across the summer period we have seen people engaging in behaviours that are unacceptable and completely inconsistent with keeping safe on the roads,’’ Comm Fryer said.

‘‘Police are out doing our part to enforce the law but I must implore the community to do the right thing in the first place.’’

Do we need to make it tougher to get a driver’s licence?

Do we need more graphic advertisements in our television screens?

Road trauma should not be accepted as inevitable.

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