High number of drivers are regularly speeding, using their mobile phones while driving, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to a statewide survey by the Transport Accident Commission.
Thirty-five percent of drivers TAC polled believed they should be able to travel up to 105 kilometres per hour in a 100 kilometre zone.
Highway Patrol manager for the Western Region Ian Brooks sees firsthand the effect of these decisions.
Senior Sergeant Brooks said he regularly sees drivers speeding, all over his region.
He said he finds it difficult to understand why drivers make the same foolish decisions, with the same consequences.
For him the message is simple, it’s just not getting through.
“If you’re not travelling so fast when you hit something, you’re less likely to be seriously injured or killed,” Sergeant Brooks said.
“I don’t understand why people would think it is OK to travel in excess of the speed limit, when you’re actually putting yourself, or someone else at a higher risk of death or serious injury.”
The TAC figures come as three young men from the Bendigo area are in Melbourne hospitals in critical and serious conditions, after crashes in the past 10 days.
At least two more have been injured in crashes in the same period.
TAC figures show drivers are not just speeding.
Thirty-three percent of drivers TAC polled had used their mobile phone illegally while driving in the preceding three months.
Six percent had driven when they knew or thought they were over the legal blood alcohol limit.
Of the nine percent who reported taking recreational drugs, 18 percent said they had driven or ridden a motorbike soon after, equating to two percent of all motorists.
The community should be “rightly outraged” by the results of TAC’s survey, Inspector Brooks said.
“It beggars belief that people would deliberately put themselves at risk of getting hurt,” he said.
”I fail to understand why people would think it’s OK to engage in risk taking behaviour that may kill someone else, or kill themselves, or one of themselves.”
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