Drivers urged to take care after horrific few days on Victoria's country roads

The scene at Taradale where a man died after hitting a kangaroo. Picture: NICHOLAS HALES
The scene at Taradale where a man died after hitting a kangaroo. Picture: NICHOLAS HALES

Police have lamented the number of recent road deaths in Victoria following a horrific few days on the roads.

In the four days from Friday to Monday, seven people were killed, four of them on Sunday alone and all on country roads.

Among them was a 60-year-old Lockwood South man who died after his motorcycle collided with a kangaroo on the Calder Highway at Taradale.

A woman in her 50s was also airlifted to The Alfred hospital in a serious condition following a two-car crash at Newbridge on Monday afternoon, while a 13-year-old girl continues to fight for life following a hit-run in Coburg at the weekend.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer pleaded with road users to act with care.

“We know the country roads are more dangerous than the metro roads,” Assistant Commissioner Fryer said on Monday morning.

“We ask everybody to drive to the conditions, not to the posted limit. That’s the maximum, not the recommended.

“We need everyone to look at the environment, whether it’s dusk or dawn, raining or not, and drive to the conditions.”

He said it was also important drivers assessed their own condition and ability to drive.

At the time Assistant Commissioner Fryer addressed the media, five people had died in the preceding few days; by the end of Monday, another two people had lost their lives in crashes.

“What I want is every Victorian to make a contract with themselves, make a contract to be here for Christmas,” Assistant Commissioner Fryer said.

“Statistics will say we’ll lose another 40 between now and New Year; that doesn’t have to be the case.”

Victoria Police are currently undertaking Operation Furlong, a statewide roads operation that began on Friday and will run until midnight Tuesday.

Assistant Commissioner Fryer said on Saturday and Sunday alone, police officers had caught 184 people drink-driving, 66 people driving under the influence of drugs, about 200 using mobile phones, and between 300 and 400 driving unlicensed or while disqualified.

“We’re holding the line and doing all we can do to keep the roads safe, but we need the community to do their part,” he said.

Bendigo police slammed driver behaviour following the Midnight Oil concert at Hanging Rock on Saturday, describing it as “disgraceful”.

So far this year, 205 people have been killed on Victoria’s roads; at the same time last year, 242 people had died.