Road Deaths Down But 255 Lives Lost Is Too Many

The number of lives lost on Victorian roads was down in 2017 and work to drive this figure down will continue through the Andrews Labor Government’s unprecedented investment in safer roads and motorists.

Acting Minister for Roads and Road Safety Philip Dalidakis joined representatives from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), VicRoads and Victoria Police to reflect on road trauma in Victoria in 2017.

Last year 255 people lost their lives on Victorian’s roads – 35 less than in 2016.

The Labor Government is investing $1.1 billion in safer road infrastructure and road policing through its Towards Zero Action Plan, which aims to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads to fewer than 200 and cut the number of serious injuries by 15 per cent by 2020.

This work will continue in 2018, with a focus on regional roads where Victorians are four times more likely to be killed and 40 per cent more likely to be seriously injured.  While overall road deaths were down in 2017, the number of people killed on regional roads increased slightly to 151.

The Government will continue to roll out its $340 million program to install life-saving infrastructure such as flexible safety barriers along Victoria’s 20 highest-risk roads.

Barriers are expected to reduce the number of head-on and run-off-road crashes by 85 per cent, and have been installed or are currently being installed on 12 roads, with work to continue in 2018.

The number of motorcyclists killed on Victorian roads fell by 32 per cent in 2017, following a horror 2016, however they continue to be over-represented in the overall number of lives lost.

With more than 60 per cent of these deaths involving another vehicle, the TAC will continue its campaign on shared responsibility in 2018 and focussing on the importance of safe bikes and gear.

The Labor Government will also continue investing in important motorcyclist safety upgrades on Victorian roads through the Motorcycle Safety Levy.

Twelve cyclists died on our roads in 2017 – four more than 2016. Half of these involved vehicles travelling in the same direction. In November, the TAC and VicRoads launched a comprehensive year-long community education campaign designed to change motorists’ behaviours and attitudes towards push bike riders.

The Labor Government is also investing in infrastructure that keeps cyclists and pedestrians safe through the $100 million Safer Cyclists and Pedestrians Fund.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Roads and Road Safety Philip Dalidakis

“No number of deaths on our roads is acceptable – we will continue to invest in safer roads and educate all Victorians to consider their choices on our roads so they can get home safe to their loved ones.”

“We all have a role to play when it comes to road safety – I encourage all Victorians to play their part, make the right choices and keep themselves and each other safe.”