IT was shocking to hear there were more deaths in our part of Victoria than any other region in 2012.
Western Regional division five, which takes in five local government areas in central Victoria, recorded 27 fatal collisions, resulting in 28 deaths.
What’s even more crushing is how the result sits in relation to 2011, when 11 people died.
This is not to discount the fact that 11 deaths is still too many.
But it is particularly disheartening to know we are heading in the wrong direction, especially because it is bucking the trend of Victoria as a whole.
Bendigo police are at a loss to explain the sudden increase.
They thought 2012 was a particularly strong year in getting the road safety message out.
But there’s only so much the police can do with media campaigns and speed cameras.
The buck has to stop with motorists.
The majority of fatal crashes were caused by inattention and speed.
It just shows how careful and alert people have to be when they’re behind the wheel.
It is so easy to be distracted. Every one of us is guilty of that at some point.
But it’s worth keeping in mind that that peek at a text message, or that fumble with the CD, could cost you, or someone else, their lives.
The police have done what they can. Let’s hope in 2013 we heed what they preach a little bit more.