Police put motorists on alert

Victoria Police is issuing a critical road safety alert as the state enters an especially high-risk period for death and serious injury.

Eighteen lives were lost in just two weeks at the same time last year and police are concerned about a repeat, especially as winter weather reduces visibility and creates hazardous driving conditions.

The alert comes as four lives were lost on Victorian roads in the last 24 hours, with fatal collisions in Buxton, Thornhill Park, Bundoora and Geelong.

It brings the state’s total lives lost to 113 – 18 higher than the same time last year.

Distraction and speed were last year cited as the most common underlying factors in fatal crashes during the period of concern, spanning from 19 June to 4 July.

Speed was a contributor in a third of the collisions, with vehicles failing to negotiate the road at speed and collisions with other vehicles at speed the most common.

A quarter of fatalities involved pedestrians, with poor visibility the major contributor.

Collisions between motor vehicles and motorcycles resulted in three fatalities during the period.

Distraction and fatigue were also suspected in several of the fatalities, with some drivers drifting on to the wrong side of the road and colliding with trees or other vehicles.

Police are determined to avoid a repeat of these concerning road trauma trends and are urging motorists to take extra care.

Their plea follows a statewide road policing operation over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend which detected more than 5000 traffic offences.

Police will remain highly visible across the state’s roads as the school holiday period kicks off next week.

For more information and tips for staying safe on the roads visit the Road Safety page on the Victoria Police website.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Glenn Weir:

“We are entering a high-risk period on Victorian roads that saw 18 lives lost last year. Now is not the time to be complacent when getting behind the wheel.

“Slowing down, remaining alert and being extra cautious when roads are wet or visibility is affected are simple, but life-saving measures all motorists can take to protect themselves and other road users.

“Police will remain highly visible and on the lookout for any risky driver behaviour. We are determined to do everything we can to ensure this period does not become synonymous with road trauma”

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