Opinion

Editorial: Road safety action needed

By Shepparton News

Six lives have already been lost on Greater Shepparton roads this year, more than the total number of combined road fatalities from last year.

While this figure is alarming, it is pleasing to see a number of road safety forums are being organised in regional areas such as ours to address the statistics.

The TAC is hosting a series of eight forums over the next three months in Shepparton, Ballarat, Marysville, Sale, Geelong, Portland, Bendigo and Mildura to specifically target the safety of regional roads.

People are encouraged to attend the forums, which are being hosted as a roundtable discussion, to have their say on how driving, riding and walking could be made safer in their communities.

The forums will hear from road safety experts and leaders who will share their ideas, alongside those of regional Victorians, on what can be done to save lives and prevent further injuries on our roads.

With 157 deaths state-wide so far this year, an increase of 57 per cent from the same time last year, it is evident something needs to be done.

More people are dying on our roads and it is something the community needs to take responsibility for.

We are all aware a number of factors can increase the likelihood of road trauma occurring, such as fatigue, speed, drink and drug driving, driver error, weather and wildlife.

While some of these factors may be out of our control it is our responsibility as drivers to ensure we are not putting our lives or the lives of other road users at risk.

Victoria Police, along with a number of other key stakeholders such as TAC and the state government, play an important role in preventing road trauma.

Uniformed police take to the streets every day to target illegal behaviour while the TAC run major campaigns, such as Towards Zero, to target driver safety.

With drivers two thirds more likely to be killed or seriously injured on a country road than in a metropolitan area, we as regional road users need to take responsibility.

When getting behind the wheel, switch off your phone, travel five kilometres under the speed limit, take regular breaks and never drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

It is small things like this that we can do to help bring down the statistics.