We all need to play a part in avoiding road trauma

OVER the next few months, I will be standing in for Inspector Brad Dixon while he is performing the role as Division Commander in Western Region – Division 5 of which Greater Bendigo Police Service Area (PSA) is included. 

During this time, I encourage feedback from Bendigo Advertiser readers on issues that affect our community and where possible, I will address your issue in person or as a general response through Ask the Inspector.

The start of 2014 will raise many new year resolutions. One resolution I would like for everyone to undertake relates to driving a motor vehicle.  

242 lives were lost on Victorian roads in 2013.  Although this was a significant reduction from 2012, there is still one person, someone’s family member, loved one, friend or community member that is dying every 36 hours on our roads.  

This is a senseless loss of life that in the majority of circumstances could have been avoided.   

I encourage everyone to resolve that they will do everything right on our roads in 2014. Here are some suggestions:

Don’t speed and ensure the speed you are driving at is appropriate for the circumstances.  Increasing your speed also significantly increases your risk of being involved in a collision.

If you are tired, have a rest.  I was recently questioned on what to do if I am tired but can’t have a powernap.

My answer was clear and without hesitation – you are not fit to drive so make alternative arrangements. I would prefer to get to my destination safely than not at all.

Don’t drink and drive, and if you take drugs, you are out of your mind. Traditionally almost one third of fatal collisions involve alcohol or drugs. 

Let's be responsible and if you know anyone who is regularly running the gauntlet of being caught, do everything you can to curb their behaviour. 

If they are still not heeding your warnings, please report them to police so we can ensure they don’t become a risk to themselves or any other road user.

There are no excuses for not wearing a seat belt. Buckle up on every occasion.  

Keep your eyes on the road and when driving, concentrate on what you are doing. Don’t get distracted by others in the car, try to keep all your other worries out of your mind and most of all, leave the mobile phone alone. 

The main message throughout our Summerstay campaign has been stay alert, stay within the speed limit, stay awake, stay sober and stay alive. 

You have a significant responsibility bestowed on you in driving a motor vehicle so please ensure you take that responsibility seriously and stay safe out there. 

We have a vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Please do your bit to help and I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable 2014. 

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