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Safety still a focus after Operation Roadwise, road toll figures

Article Category  Current News
Date Published  Wednesday, January 9 2019
Photo  File Photo

Safety still a focus after Operation Roadwise, road toll figures
Victoria Police’s Christmas/New Year road safety operation has concluded with nearly 34,000 traffic offences detected over three-and-a-half weeks.

Operation Roadwise ran from Friday 14th December 2018 through to Sunday 6th January 2019.

Tragically twelve lives were lost on our state’s roads during this time. This is compared to 25 lives lost during the 2017/18 Operation Roadwise.

This year’s operation saw police officers state-wide dedicate more than 113,000 hours to road policing across nearly 18,000 shifts, focusing on speed, impaired driving, distraction, fatigue, seatbelt non-compliance and other dangerous behaviours.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said the high number of people engaging in behaviours that posed a risk to themselves and others was concerning.

“We know that speed is a major factor in about one third of fatal collisions, and we know that speed increases the chances of a collision and the severity of the outcome.

“Yet over the 24 days of Roadwise, we detected 12,050 people speeding, thereby placing themselves and others on the roads in danger.

“There were also large numbers of people engaging in behaviour that could cost lives or cause serious injuries, such as driving after drinking or using drugs, having their eyes on their phones when they should be on the roads, not wearing seat belts and running red lights or stop signs.

“During Roadwise, we detected around one offence every minute.

“These results show that although Victoria had a record low number of lives lost (214 – a reduction of 45 from 2017) on our roads in 2018, we can’t afford to be complacent about road safety.”

A total of 33,829 traffic offences were detected across Operation Roadwise:
  • 841 disqualified/suspended drivers
  • 1,441 unlicensed drivers
  • 3,492 unregistered vehicles
  • 12,050 speeding offences
  • 1,883 mobile phone offences
  • 2,269 disobey signs/signals
  • 452 vehicle impounds
  • 1,109 seat belt offences
  • 892 drink drive offences
  • 920 drug drive offences

“We all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and others safe, and I encourage everyone who’s using our roads to think carefully about what they can do to keep themselves and others safe.”

2018 Road Toll

While the 2018 road toll is a record low with 214 lives lost, down from 259 in 2017 and 290 in 2016, Police still say there is more to be done.

Speaking in Melbourne on Tuesday, Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane recognised the reduction in road deaths in 2018.

“We recognise this as a record in the state of Victoria, but still sadly my condolences go out, and we must think about those 214 people and their partners, families, friends and relatives.

“We’ll be doing everything we can this year to see if we can reduce that number even more.”

Rural Victoria saw 108 people lose their lives on the road, and 106 in Melbourne.

Males are much higher represented in the statistics – 155 males died on the roads compared to 59 females.

The highest represented age bracket is those 70 and over, with 43 lives lost, closely followed by those aged 30 to 39, with 39 people in this range losing their lives.

“214 people lost their lives last year, it’s a record low but that’s nothing to celebrate.

“We need to get to zero. That’s an aim – to get to zero by 2050, and we’ll keep working at that.”

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