Thirteen people lost their lives on Shepparton roads in 2012, the most fatalities since at least 1994.DARREN LINTON January 1, 2013 4:17am
Greater Shepparton has had its deadliest year on the roads for decades.
Barring any New Year’s Eve tragedy, the Shepparton police district was set to end 2012 with 13 lives lost on the roads.
Shepparton Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Des Wright said this was the highest number of deaths since he started keeping detailed local statistics.
‘‘I’ve got statistics that go back to 1994 and this is the worst year we’ve had going back at least until then,’’ he said. ‘‘I would suggest you would have to go back to the 1970s when the road toll was out of control to find a higher toll.’’
The experienced traffic policeman said in all his years he had only ever seen one fatal crash that was completely accidental — when a tree limb fell on a passing car.
‘‘All of those (other) collisions were avoidable,’’ he said.
In 1995, the Shepparton region had 12 fatalities and there were 11 deaths in 2002, 2003 and 2007.
During recent years, the lowest road toll for the region was two in 2008.
‘‘It has been a bad year for us and we hope we don’t have any more,’’ Sen Sgt Wright said on the eve of 2013.
‘‘We’ve had a spike in the number of deaths, but I do expect there will be spikes from time to time,’’ he said.
He said highway patrol members were concerned about the number of drivers still willing to take risks on the road.
‘‘There’s an awful lot of people who do the right thing and drive sensibly, but there is a substantial percentage of people who like to take liberties,’’ he said.
Sen Sgt Wright said safe driving was about more than just obeying the road rules.
It included constant vigilance and awareness of surrounding traffic and pedestrians, and driving to the road and weather conditions.
‘‘All I would ask people to do is pay attention not just to what you are doing, but what else is happening around you,’’ he said.
Drink-driving remains a perennial problem in the region, which Sen Sgt Wright described as insidious because alcohol-affected drivers put others at risk when they drove.
Sen Sgt Wright said hoon driving, while still prevalent, had been affected by tougher laws including vehicle seizures.
‘‘There is still a bit of hoon driving going on,’’ he said.
‘‘There is a little club of these people and it is secretive cloak-and-dagger stuff with emails and texts and secret locations.’’
Shepparton Art Museum director Kirsten Paisley has resigned to take up a plum role at the as deputy director of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have secured an important victory over Wangaratta Rovers to reinforce their position in the top 5 of the Ovens and Murray Football Netball League ladder.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
You would think a 20-goal hammering of Mathoura by Picola league leaders Strathmerton at the Bulldogs’ kennel would leave coach Mick McInnes frustrated in the extreme.
With the footballers dressed in their (mostly) pressed suits and the netballers in stunning gowns, the Elmore Football and Netball club looked set for a good time.
Friday night draw at Bluebrick
Nagambie Healthcare wants the wider community to use its gardens.
Finley School of Arts and Memorial Hall are deteriorating with white ants damaging the foundations.
Hundreds of district part-pensioners could lose out as a result of the Federal Government’s unfair pension cuts.
Kinder kids in Cobram learn about dental health.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The Victorian Winter Fair will be held in Bendigo on July 1 and 2.
Free legal services for people in Benalla are at risk with cuts to federal funding likely to have an impact on service provision, a legal service says.
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