An urgent warning is going out to drivers across the Ballarat region following a major increase in fatalities.
24 lives were lost on Victoria’s rural roads last month, which is a 64% increase on the five year average for regional road deaths in January.
21 of those deaths were for people that live regionally – one of them a Ballarat resident who died when she was rear ended on the Midland Highway in Meredith on the 17th of January.
Victoria Police Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir confirms it is overwhelmingly locals who die on regional roads, and it can be avoided.
“It is a common misconception that it’s not locals losing their lives on country roads, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Distraction and basic road user error is significantly contributing to regional lives lost. It just shows you that a simple lapse in concentration can have catastrophic consequences.”
Victoria Police says it’s “determined to avoid a repeat of this concerning rural road trauma trend, with highway patrol deployments to be bolstered to regional areas throughout February, ahead of a statewide operation over the Labour Day long weekend in March.”