BENDIGO police are embracing a new campaign encouraging the community to take ownership of its role in reducing road trauma.
Police turn to community as part of enforcement campaign
It's a campaign we're going to embrace and we will target people doing the wrong thing.
Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill this week launched the “Road To Zero – it starts with you” campaign which aims to unite the community to work together to achieve a long-term vision of zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Victorian roads.
The campaign has been inspired by real people whose lives have been turned upside down by road trauma - a mother grieving over the loss of her teenage son, a wheelchair-bound husband still tortured by emotional scars and an emergency services volunteer traumatised after scraping a motorcyclist’s remains off the road.
Acting Senior Sergeant Dale Simm from Bendigo's highway patrol has his fingers-crossed the human element of the campaign would get people to slow down and take care on our roads.
"It's a campaign we're going to embrace and we will target people doing the wrong thing," he said.
"It's all tying in with different road traumas we've had this year."
Acting Senior Sergeant Simm said everyone had a part to play in preventing road trauma.
"We can't do it alone," he said.
"It's up to everyone to take control of it.
"You might know someone who's a bit of a drink-driver who takes the back road or someone who texts while driving.
"So it's about saying to them hey maybe you should turn your phone off or put it in the boot.
"People think it won't happen to them but it does happen.
"It might be that someone else who hits you."
Last year more than 5500 people were seriously injured following collisions.
In the first four weeks of this year alone, at least 447 people began the long road to recovery after being seriously injured on our roads.
Assistant Commissioner Road Policing Command Robert Hill said the survivors were not often talked about.
“Road trauma is not just about the people who die – it’s about the enormous impact on the community,” he said.
“These people are not just anonymous names in the paper, they are not a statistic – they are our neighbours, our friends, they are all of us."
During the next three months police will saturate the state during a number of large-scale operations.
People can support to the campaign by posting their ideas and sharing their stories through twitter pages using the hashtag #roadtozero.