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Police announce final 2012 road toll

Victoria Police have announced the final road toll for the state, with 282 lives lost on the roads in 2012.

February 7, 2013 11:03am

Victoria lost 282 lives on the state’s roads in 2012, recording five less than 2011.

The final 2012 road toll, the fifth consecutive record low, marks the seventh year in a row where the road toll has continued to drop.

Despite the positive trend, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said there were five lives lost last weekend and it was a real reminder that Victorians couldn’t take their minds off road safety for a second.

“While a fifth consecutive record low road toll is something the community should be congratulated for, we can never rest on our laurels and need to strive for no deaths on Victorian roads,” AC Hill said.  

“Our focus is often on younger drivers, and rightly so - almost 21 per cent of people killed on our roads last year were aged between 18 and 24.

“Young drivers are more likely to be involved in road trauma because they lack experience, they underestimate risks, they engage in risk-taking behaviour and are more likely to use alcohol and drugs.

“We’ll continue to work with our partners at the TAC, the Department of Justice and VicRoads to continue to educate young drivers, but it is important that parents, family and peers also take responsibility for the safety of young drivers - this is a whole of community effort.

“What’s also concerning is the increase in the number of older drivers killed on our roads.

“Forty-one per cent of people killed on Victorian roads last year were 50 or older and with an ageing population, we can expect this number to increase in the coming years.

“Most older people are perfectly capable of driving safely and are some of our best drivers, however physical and mental changes that accompany ageing can impact the capabilities of older drivers.

“It is important that family and friends talk with older drivers if they have safety concerns about their driving or road behaviour.

“They are not easy conversations to have, but they are important ones not only for the safety of the family member but for all road users.”

The final road toll results show that in 2012 (data compared with 2011):
• There were 282 fatalities resulting from 261 fatal collisions
• There were 129 deaths in metropolitan Melbourne, the same as 2011
• There were 152 deaths in country Victoria, down from 158 in 2011 (four per cent decrease)
• While males accounted for the majority of people killed (198 – 70 per cent), the number of females killed (84 – 30 per cent) went up by 12 per cent
• Young people continue to be overrepresented in road trauma with 59 (21 per cent) aged between 18 and 24
• There is a growing trend in the number of older drivers losing their lives on Victorian roads – 37 (13 per cent) aged 50 to 59 (an increase of 19 per cent), 31 (11 per cent) aged 60 to 69 (an increase of seven per cent) and 21 (seven per cent) aged 70 – 79 (an increase of 23.5 per cent)
• Drivers accounted for 146 (52 per cent) fatalities, an increase of 20 per cent  
• There were 35 pedestrian deaths, down from 49 in 2011 (29 per cent decrease)
• People older than 70 accounted for 10 pedestrian fatalities (29 per cent)
• Thirty-eight fatalities (13.5 per cent) were motorcyclists, seven less than 2011 (16 per cent decrease)
• Forty-four people (16 per cent) were killed in collisions involving heavy vehicles, a decrease of four per cent.
• Forty-one (20.6 per cent) drivers and passengers killed were not wearing a seatbelt, six more than 2011.

“How 41 people who lost their lives on our roads were not wearing a seatbelt just baffles me – that is one in five people,” AC Hill said.

“We have had seatbelt legislation in place in this state for more than 40 years.

“It is estimated that wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of death or serious injury by 50 per cent.

“Whether you are travelling a short distance down the road or on a long journey, 
always wear a seatbelt - there’s no excuse.”

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