COUNTRY road deaths have decreased by six per cent, official 2012 road toll statistics released by Victoria Police show.
A total of 282 deaths were recorded on Victorian roads for 2012, five less than 2011, while deaths on country roads dropped from 158 to 152.
Car users aged between 18-24 again featured with 59 deaths while a growing trend of older drivers, aged 50 and over, has been identified after 115 fatalities were recorded.
Males account for 70 per cent of the road toll with a spike of nine per cent in females killed puts them at 30 per cent.
In January, central Victoria was revealed to have the worst road toll for 2012, with 28 road deaths recorded. That number has since been revised to 30, with police adding the deaths of a 72-year-old man in North Bendigo on December 1 and a 61-year-old woman at Big Hill on December 24.
Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said the overall road toll numbers were largely positive and that the final number for 2012 was the fifth consecutive record low.
“While a fifth consecutive record low road toll is something the community should be congratulated for, we can never rest on our laurels and need to strive for no deaths on Victorian roads,” he said.
“Our focus is often on younger drivers, and rightly so - almost 21 per cent of people killed on our roads last year were aged between 18 and 24.
“We’ll continue to work with our partners at the TAC, the Department of Justice and VicRoads to continue to educate young drivers, but it is important that parents, family and peers also take responsibility for the safety of young drivers - this is a whole of community effort.
“What’s also concerning is the increase in the number of older drivers killed on our roads.
“Forty-one per cent of people killed on Victorian roads last year were 50 or older and with an ageing population, we can expect this number to increase in the coming years.
“Most older people are perfectly capable of driving safely and are some of our best drivers, however physical and mental changes that accompany ageing can impact the capabilities of older drivers.
“It is important that family and friends talk with older drivers if they have safety concerns about their driving or road behaviour."
The Victorian road toll for 2013 so far sits at 20.