26 September 2023

Police issue weekend road safety plea

Start the conversation

Victoria Police is urging motorists to take extra care on the roads over the King’s Birthday long weekend as the number of lives lost surges to a 16-year high.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Road Policing, Martin O’Brien said that from today (9 June), police were ramping up enforcement across the State in an effort to drive down road trauma.

A/Assistant Commissioner O’Brien said there had now been 140 lives lost on Victorian roads in 2023, up 35 per cent on the same time last year.

“Long weekends are historically high risk on our roads, and the King’s Birthday long weekend can present additional challenges,” A/Assistant Commissioner O’Brien said.

“Wintry weather can increase the likelihood of a collision, with slippery roads and poor visibility,” he said.

“Whether you’re travelling across the state this weekend or heading to the alpine regions, please take extra care on the roads and be sure to drive to the conditions.”

A/Assistant Commissioner O’Brien said the increase in multiple fatality collisions this year had seen passenger deaths rise 255 per cent to 32, from nine this time last year, while driver fatalities had increased 56 per cent to 69, from 44 last year.

He said police suspected a wide range of contributing factors were behind this year’s fatal collisions, including excessive or inappropriate speed, impaired driving, seatbelt non-compliance, distraction and disobeying traffic signs, and unauthorised driving.

“We’re approaching the halfway point of the year and the amount of trauma on our roads is alarming – it’s been 15 years since we had this many lives lost at this point of the year,” A/Assistant Commissioner O’Brien said.

“We are now at a critical point as to whether we can turn this year around and reduce road trauma – we are doing everything we can, but police cannot do it alone,” he said.

“Everyone has a responsibility on the road, and everyone must make safety their number one priority when getting behind the wheel.

“So many of this year’s fatal collisions could have been avoided – it is simple mistakes like creeping over the speed limit, being distracted and failing to buckle up that we’re seeing result in catastrophic consequences.”

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.