THERE have been high level conversations in recent months about the alarming 2019 Victorian road toll.
To date, the state's provisional road toll stands at 220 lives lost - an increase of more than 30 per cent on last year. Recent research suggests fatigue is one of the biggest killers on central Victorian roads, but we all know that's not the only cause of so many deaths.
TAC, Roads and Road Safety Minister Jaala Pulford says the state government is working to understand why so many people are dying on the roads. "We've lost more than 200 people on our roads this year - this is heartbreaking and unacceptable, and serious injury or death is not the price you should pay for using the road," she says. Ms Pulford implored Victorians to take responsibility for their own behaviour on the roads, by 'sticking to the speed limit, putting on your seatbelt, resting when you need to and ignoring your phone'.
But, we implore our local, state and federal governments to recognise the condition of regional roads is a contributor to our road toll. Not only are country drivers often travelling longer distances, they're doing so on roads that require a high level of concentration and control of their vehicles.
You only have to read the feedback from some of our readers in today's paper, and on the Bendigo Advertiser website, to know this.
The Australian Automobile Association's new road safety report says Australia has "suffered a lost decade in the management of road safety" and that a new federal approach is needed. It says we have a "serious infrastructure backlog" and "too many existing roads are not safe enough".
We agree. So do our readers. As one wrote on social media this week, 'does someone have to die here before something is done?'.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Bendigo principal lawyer Danny Frigerio is right to encourage central Victorians to help identify priorities for Victoria's new road safety strategy. "Anything that might reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads is worth sharing," he says.
Your experience or suggestions may just save a life.
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