Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Take responsibility to keep roads safe

As 2012 ends and 2013 begins, Kyabram Police have issued a reminder that road safety is not just the responsibility of Victoria’s police officers.

December 26, 2012 3:40pm

Senior Sergeant Peter Wardell from Kyabram Police is urging people to take responsibility for their own actions on the roads.

Kyabram Police officers have attended 24 road accidents in the past 12 months where someone has either been killed or seriously injured.

Three such incidents have already occurred on our roads in December and we are only halfway through the traditional peak period for accidents, the last 12 days of the year.

Police have already been out in force around the district conducting random breath tests and vehicle checks as part of the Summer Stay road policing campaign.

The peak period from mid-December until just after the new year holiday is split, with Operation Break-up covering the lead-up to Christmas, from December 14 to 22, and Operation Crossroads taking place over the holiday season from December 23 to January 3.

The mission of the campaign is to reduce road trauma.

As 2012 ends and 2013 begins, Kyabram Police Senior Sergeant Peter Wardell would like to remind people road safety is not just the responsibility of Victoria’s police officers.

‘‘Road safety is everyone’s responsibility,’’ he said.

‘‘Don’t wait for police to stop you and tell you there is something wrong with your vehicle or that you are doing something wrong on the road.

‘‘Take responsibility for yourself and don’t blame someone else for something which you could have avoided.

‘‘If you see someone doing something stupid, or about to do something stupid, say something to stop an incident potentially happening.’’

Sen Sgt Wardell said when you have attended an incident where someone has died you never forget it.

‘‘Nobody wants to attend a fatal road accident and then have to go and tell someone their loved one will not be coming home.

‘‘Everyone deals with tragedy in different ways but there is always an emotional impact on the community as well as the family directly impacted by the loss,’’ he said.

He encouraged all road users to reduce the possibility of road trauma by taking responsibility for their own actions.

‘‘Statistics show speed, alcohol and fatigue are the biggest cause of serious accidents. All of these factors can be controlled by road users themselves.’’

Sen Sgt Wardell encouraged drivers to check their vehicles regularly to ensure they are roadworthy.

‘‘Check your tyres and lights and make sure your windscreen is clear. At this time of year there are a lot of bugs around, particularly during the evening, and when they hit the windscreen they can quickly build up and make visibility poor, especially when you are facing the sun,’’ he said.

At midnight on December 20, Victoria’s road toll for 2012 stood at 271 compared to 278 at the same point last year.

The number of women killed has risen, from 73 to 81, while the figure for men has dropped from 205 to 190.

In terms of categories of road users the only one to see a rise is vehicle drivers.

Younger drivers have fared better in 2012 with a significant drop in fatal crashes involving people under 25. However the largest rises are in the 26-29 and 50-59 age brackets.

‘‘The message is simple, please just be safe, think about your actions and plan ahead to avoid road accidents,’’ Sen Sgt Wardell said.

‘‘Let’s make 2013 a safe year on our roads.’’

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