'Absolutely shocking': Road toll skyrockets in rural areas

Road toll skyrockets in rural Victorian areas


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A crash on the Western Freeway on Friday. Picture: Lachlan Bence

A crash on the Western Freeway on Friday. Picture: Lachlan Bence

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The state road toll has hit 100 deaths this year, with regional roads worst hit. Ballarat cops say minor mistakes are causing "catastrophic results".

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Ballarat's police officers are lamenting the 'shocking' road toll, around 100 per cent worse than this time last year as they crack down on speeding and drink driving.

The road toll across the state hit triple figures over the weekend, with 100 people dying on the roads, up more than 65 per cent compared to 2018.

Road carnage is even starker in regional areas, according to official statistics from the TAC. As of April 17, deaths have increased 97 per cent on rural roads compared to last year.

Around people were hospitalised following a crash 80 on roads in the Ballarat municipality over the last measurable year-long period, with 13 requiring hospitalisation for more than two weeks.

Five deaths have occurred in Golden Plains Shire since the start of the year. since January 1, four people have died on Moorabool roads and one death has been recorded in Hepburn Shire.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Sergeant Ross Humphrey told The Courier people needed to "wake up to themselves" and realise that driving deserves concentration.

"The road toll at the moment for rural areas is absolutely shocking," he said. "People think if they're driving on a straight road they can relax, but when you're driving at higher speeds, you must be concentrating."

The Easter long weekend was marred by a number of serious car crashes and rollovers, with a fatal crash on Good Friday leaving one man dead. Two females involved in the crash, one in her 30s and a teenage, remain in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital in a stable condition.

Sergeant Humphrey said over the Easter long weekend, police had seen a number of people on Ballarat roads speeding. He urged drivers to combat fatigue to get home safely.

"With the higher statistics of single vehicles going off the road, it gives us some indication they may not be concentrating or affected by substances and alcohol," he said. "In these cases, you usually find people make a number of minor faults that have catastrophic results."

The Courier

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