Victoria Police is honouring the memory of the 253 people who have lost their lives on the state’s roads this year with a Christmas tree featuring baubles inscribed with their first names and ages.
With what has been a difficult and tragic year on Victorian roads, a larger tree was required to fit all the baubles.
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said the baubles acted as a reminder that behind the statistics of road trauma are real people.
“Everyone who loses their life on our roads is missed by someone, and each of these baubles represents a person who was special to those who knew and loved them.
“It’s a reminder that lives lost on our roads is not about numbers – it’s about real families losing people they love.
“Behind each of these baubles is a story of a family that is grieving for a mum, dad, brother, sister, son or daughter who won’t be coming home this Christmas.”
The Christmas tree forms part of the commencement of Operation Roadwise, the annual road policing operation runs throughout the Christmas, New Year and summer holiday period.
AC Murphy said that in the run up to Christmas, police would have a particular focus on drink and drug driving.
“Twelve people lost their live on our roads last year during the festive season,” AC Murphy said.
“Many people will be attending parties and other events to celebrate the end of the year, so if you are going to have a few drinks, then make sure you’ve planned how to get home without driving.
“Drug and alcohol testing will be taking place throughout the state and our police will be testing as many motorists and riders as possible to get those who are impaired off our roads.”
With a higher number of pedestrians expected, especially around shopping precincts, police are reminding everyone using the roads to look up and look out for each other.
The ‘Lives Lost’ Christmas tree is available for viewing in the concourse level of the Victoria Police Centre at 637 Flinders Street, Docklands (during office hours) until Operation Roadwise ends on 5 January 2020.
Operation Roadwise is an annual road policing operation which runs from Friday 13 December 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020.