Alcohol kills on roads
POLICE have vowed to crackdown on drivers affected by alcohol and drugs, as drivers under the influence contribute to many crashes.
The road toll in South Gippsland and Bass Coast rose from four deaths in 2015 to six deaths in 2016.
Another 65 people were seriously injured in the area last year.
Detection of the presence of alcohol and drugs has been a factor in many incidents, which police are keen to address.
“The fact that we’re still finding these drivers is unacceptable. The amount is reducing but it is still concerning,” Sergeant Jason Hullick of the Bass Coast Highway Patrol said.
It is unknown how many of the crash causes relate to the presence of drugs, but alcohol played a significant part in at least one fatality.
The investigations of a fatal single vehicle collision indicated alcohol played a major part in the crash.
To combat this, police are “looking at increases in drug detection,” Sgt Hullick said.
The general trend over the past decade is that fatal collisions are decreasing overall.
“The fatalities are avoidable. Every fatal collision we have seen has been avoidable if only people were properly following the road rules and giving driving full attention,” Sgt Hullick said.
Half of all drivers involved in the fatal collisions, whether they survived the crash or not, did not live in the area, making the split between locals and tourists to the area, half and half.
There is no general trend in the locations of the crashes, with the unpredictable locations making policing difficult.
Police have, however, seen the continued trend of many collisions occurring in the high speed rural zones on 80 to 100km/h roads.
Police will also be increasing the use of the automatic number plate system this year.
“We’re still seeing a lot of unlicensed or people driving vehicles with inappropriate licence conditions and unregistered vehicles on the road,” Sgt Hullick said.
People not wearing seatbelts also concerns police.
One of the fatalities this year was probably directly related to not wearing seatbelt.
Complacency can often be the biggest killer.
“There are thousands of vehicles on the roads each day but road trauma will happen to somebody, everyday,” Sgt Hullick said.
“Just drive safely. Be courteous on the roads, put your phone away and wear your seatbelt.”
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