Another three people lost their lives on country roads last weekend. When compared to the same time last year, there has been an 85 per cent increase in deaths on country roads.
This is a tragedy and a wake-up call – we must do more to stop people dying on country roads.
While Minister Jaala Pulford acknowledged speed, fatigue, distraction, drugs and alcohol were factors in the majority of road deaths, she failed to recognise another key factor – the condition of the road.
While it may not be a contributing factor in all road deaths, it must be considered as part of the response to this growing crisis on country roads.
Roads right across regional Victoria are riddled with potholes, warped and rough surfaces.
The Minster says the stakes are higher on country roads, because if people are travelling at 100km/h and hit something, the likelihood of survival decreases.
Add dangerous road surface conditions and you have a recipe for disaster.
While increased safety measures like wire-rope barriers, roundabouts and upgrades to intersections are important, they must be done in conjunction with the repair of the road surface.
There is no point only looking at one piece of the puzzle – we need every piece fitting together to ensure the whole picture is being addressed.