ROAD deaths in the western policing region, which extends up to Horsham and Yarriamiack and down to Ararat, doubled last year.
2019 saw 11 deaths on the road, compared with six the year before. However, there were 61 serious injuries compared to 76 in 2018.
"In our division we had 10 (fatalities) for the year, which was pretty much double for what we had last year," Western Region Division Four Road Policing Acting Senior Sergeant Shaun Allen said.
Victoria Police is in the middle of Operation Roadwise, which runs from December 13 to January 5.
"Since the start of Roadwise we've only had one injury-collision, which was yesterday (December 31) on the Glenelg Highway, so we've been really happy. As far as enforcement goes speed is still over-represented," he said.
Senior Sergeant Rob Weppner, of Ararat, called on the community to help decrease the road toll in 2020.
"We need everyone - Victorians and visitors alike - to be patient and look out for their fellow road users," he said.
"Don't speed; don't drive if you plan to drink; and put your mobile phone out of reach and switch to the 'do not disturb' mode.
"If you're travelling long distances, schedule regular breaks or share the driving - it's better to arrive late than not at all.
"The message is clear: we will be out and about intercepting vehicles, conducting breath and drug tests and checking speeds.
"If you do the wrong thing, you'll be caught. Stay alert, stay sober, stay within the limit and stay alive - stay away from the risks on the road this summer."
Road safety authorities used New Year's Day to call on the community to help reduce the road toll in 2020 after a devastating 2019.
The 2019 road toll was the highest it had been since 2016 at 263, up about 50 from 2018 figures.
Road Policing Command assistant commissioner Libby Murphy told media Wednesday morning that of the 263 deaths, 33 per cent were country road users.
The TAC states 145 of the 2019 road fatalities occurred on rural roads.
"They are country people - they are not people from the city driving on country roads and it's really important we understand they are country people who need to pay more attention and be more aware," Assistant Commissioner Murphy said.
Watch Victoria Police's live stream road toll conference:
She also said too many crashes were occurring because a driver had made "a conscious choice" to check their phone while driving, to speed, or to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"This is not just about enforcement - this is about community members starting to education their own communities and have discussions about awareness and driver behaviour," she said.
"We're asking you to work with us on this front."
In 2019 to March 31 Transport Accident Commission data states 11 people in Ararat were admitted to hospital for crash-related injuries, with 24 admitted from Horsham, 15 from Hindmarsh, and 10 were admitted from Yarriambiack.
In the Northern Grampians, 22 people were admitted to hospital.
The 2020 road toll is already at one after a motorcyclist was killed on January 1 in Jacana.
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