Wimmera police: driver behaviour improving on our roads

Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts.
Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts.

WIMMERA police believe driver behaviour is improving on the region’s roads.

It comes as the region recorded its lowest annual road toll in three years.

Six people died on Wimmera roads in 2017, two less than in 2016 and four less than in 2015.

Northern Grampians Shire was the only municipality with multiple fatalities, with two, while there was one fatality in Horsham Rural City, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, and Ararat Rural City.

Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts said police had observed changes in driver behaviour across the region in the past 12 months.

“I really am quite pleased with how road safety seems to be being picked up by the community,” he said.

“People are understanding the messages, and the risks to do with speed in rural areas.

“It’s not so much speeding, but that any crash that happens in a rural area tends to happen at a higher speed, and I think the awareness around that is influencing the way people drive and focus.

“But it’s a very fragile thing at the same time.

“We're still seeing a trend where the people who are killed and injured are good people who essentially make a mistake.

“An example of that played out in December, where a driver made a mistake and was then involved in a crash with another vehicle.

“The speed of the other vehicle is more than the human body can handle, and it has resulted in a tragic outcome.”

Mr Margetts said social media had helped police spread their road safety safety messages and engage the community in their work.

“There's two parts to it: social media allows those messages to go out in a really timely way, and there’s also the visual aspect that goes with those messages that seems to influence the way people think,” he said.

“I think overall that's what's helping improve the safety of everyone on our roads.

“I want to say thank you to the drivers and motorists on the roads around the Wimmera for their commitment to safety in 2017.

“We look forward to continuing that partnership between police and the community in the new year.”

​As of Friday, 254 people had lost their lives on Victorian roads since the start of 2017.

The 2016 road toll was 287, while 2015's toll was 249.

About half of the fatalities in 2017 were drivers.


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