Getting the community on board to tackle the growing number of accidents, serious injuries and lives lost on roads in regional Victoria is the best way to combat the problem says Transport Matters Party leader Rod Barton.
So far this year lives lost in regional Victoria is up almost 80 percent, with 92 people killed in the year to date, compared with 51 at the same time last year.
“We need the community on board, discussing and participating in the process of developing solutions. It’s country people that are dying on country roads and we can do better,” said Mr Barton.
At the recent Victorian Road Safety Summit in Melbourne the State Government called on transport industry experts to present and discuss ways to fix the road toll.
“The experts have the answers on how to combat road deaths, but unfortunately governments are hesitant to implement regulations that will be unpopular in our communities,” he said.
Solutions like reducing speed limits on inferior roads throughout the state have been unpopular in the past with many regional communities upset that reducing speed was offered as a solution when road upgrades and repairs were desperately needed.
“By taking these summits out into our regional centres the TAC can work with communities to be part of the process,” he said.
Mr Barton has asked the Minister for Road Safety Jaala Pulford to work with Federal counterparts to bring a total ban on the import of vehicles with a safety rating less than three stars.
“We know that 1 and 2 star rated cars are not safe. We know that in an accident these vehicles may not protect the driver or passengers and sadly these are the vehicles we put our young men and women into as a rite of passage to driving and independence,” he said.
Mr Barton has urged the Minister to phase out these vehicles in Victoria and consider incentives to retire the existing fleet that don’t meet a minimum 3 star standard.
The Regional Road Safety Forums will be held during evening sessions in 8 centres –
10 July – Ballarat
15 July – Marysville
16 July – Shepparton
20 August – Sale
21 August – Geelong
22 August – Portland
3 September – Bendigo
5 September – Mildura
Registration information at https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/towards-zero/regional-road-safety-forum