Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Road injuries reduced in Benalla

The number of crashes in Benalla that resulted in serious injury has halved in the last 12 months.

August 7, 2014 3:31am

Benalla Police Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeffrey Kyne

New Transport Accident Commission statistics have revealed the number of injuries requiring hospitalisation that occurred on Benalla roads has halved in the past year.

Seven people were hospitalised for injuries from road crashes in Benalla between July 28 last year and the same date this year; 14 people were hospitalised in the same period in 2012-13.

Both sets of data revealed the majority of injuries came from crashes when the vehicle ran off a straight road.

Benalla police Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeffrey Kyne said driver distraction and fatigue were major contributors to crashes when vehicles ran off a straight road.

‘‘I don’t care who you are, if you’re in a car and the phone rings you will divert your attention to the phone,’’ Sgt Kyne said.

One person died on Benalla roads in the past year, when a vehicle drove off a straight road.

Four people died on the roads in Benalla in the 2012-13 period, two occurred when a vehicle ran off a straight road and two occurred in crashes with vehicles driving in adjacent directions.

‘‘We’re throwing it back to the individual driver or passengers in cars, if they notice that their driver’s wandering over the road, pull over and have a break for 10 to 15 minutes and recharge before continuing on the trip,’’ Sgt Kyne said.

The reduction in fatalities and serious injuries could be due to a number of things, including luck, Sgt Kyne said.

‘‘We can certainly help luck be on our side — I believe if we are driving more modern motor cars, that certainly assists in reducing the level of injuries that drivers or passengers receive, with airbags and ABS braking and side impact air curtains and the like,’’ he said.

‘‘I can say that the degree of speed out on our local roads is less now than it was 12 months ago because the (Highway Patrol) team is certainly finding there are less tickets coming across the table for high speed than there used to be.

‘‘Our biggest blight at the moment would probably be drugs, and at the moment we’re still working on trying to get more drug testing done in and around Benalla, and that’s going to happen in the future.

‘‘I can promise you there’ll be a noticeable increase in that.’’

Across Greater Shepparton, Moira, Campaspe, Strathbogie, Mitchell and Benalla municipalities 19 people were killed between July 28 last year and the same date this year.

Thirty-four people died on the roads during the same period in 2012-13.

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