Jumbuck News

Police work to drive down lives lost in 2020

New Year celebrations may be in full swing but sadly the suffering is still raw for the families and friends of the 263 people who tragically lost their lives on Victoria’s roads in 2019.

Provisional figures show a steep rise of 50 deaths compared to 2018, where a record low of 213 lives were lost, and the worst figure since the 290 deaths in 2016.

Of these,145 were in country Victoria, 33 per cent more than 2018.

Victoria Police today joined Road Safety Minister Jaala Pulford along with representatives from VicRoads, the Transport Accident Commission and Road Safety Victoria to reflect on the lives of those tragically cut short.

Road Policing Command Libby Murphy said impaired driving, speed and failing to wear seatbelts had all played significant roles in what had been a challenging year for both police and the community.

“There is no good number of lives lost and if 2019 has proven anything, it’s that we have a long way to go before we can achieve zero deaths,” AC Murphy said.

“No one wants a knock on the door from police and we certainly don’t want to be visiting homes, but that has unfortunately been the horrible reality 263 families were faced with last year.

“We’re also conscious of the many Victorians who fortunately haven’t become a statistic, but who have just as horrifically been left with serious or life-changing injuries.

“Our police are out there enforcing positive driver behaviour at every opportunity and will continue to do so, but we need everyone to understand just how delicate life is and taking just one risk on the road is enough to change lives forever.”

AC Murphy said the prevalence of impaired driving in 2019 was of concern.

“Time and time again we’ve stressed the danger of being drug and alcohol-affected while driving,” AC Murphy said.

“You might think it’s okay to jump in the driver’s seat after one or two drinks or taking drugs, but that simple choice can mean the difference between life and death, not only for you but for innocent others who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Life can suddenly end but the trauma that follows for loved ones doesn’t – and neither does the regret one bad decision can leave with you for the rest of your life.”

AC Murphy said one of the most astounding results in 2019 was the number of people not wearing seatbelts, which was a likely factor in at least 31 collisions that ended in death.

“It’s such a simple precaution that takes seconds, and we know it saves lives, so why take the risk?” AC Murphy said.

“Look after yourself and your passengers before taking off, drive to the speed limits and conditions, and stop taking unnecessary risks on the road in 2020.”

Analysis of the lives lost provisional figures in 2019 shows:

OVERALL

• The 263 lives lost resulted from 245 fatal collisions.

• Single fatality collisions increased to 228 compared to 193 in 2018.

• There were 16 double fatality collisions and one triple fatality

• There were 145 deaths in country Victoria, up from 109 in 2018, an increase of 33 per cent.

• 109 lives have been lost on metropolitan roads, 33 more than in 2018

• No seatbelts being worn was likely an issue in at least in 13% (31) of fatal collisions.

• Heavy vehicles were involved in 20% (49) of fatal collisions 20 more than 2018.

MONTHS

• May and February were the months in which most lives were lost, with 33 fatalities recorded for each of those months.

• August had the lowest number of fatalities, with 15 lives lost.

TYPE OF ROAD USER

• Drivers – 113 lives lost, 15% (15) more than in 2018 (98) – five year average is 123.0.

• Motorcyclists – 44 lives lost, 19% (7) more than 2018 (37) – five year average is 37.6.

• Passengers – 48 lives lost, 55% (17) more than 2018 (31) – five year average is 43.6.

• Pedestrians – 48 lives lost, 33% (12) more than in 2018 (36) – five year average is 36.6.

• Cyclists – 10 lives lost, 43% (3) more than in 2018 (7) – five year average is 9.4.

DEMOGRAPHICS

• Males accounted for 75 per cent of the lives lost (196 people)

AGE GROUP

2018 v 2019

< 18: 10 v 12

18-24: 22 v 44

25-29: 22 v 26

30-39: 40 v 31

40-49: 20 v 29

50-59: 30 v 32

60-69: 27 v 35

70-79: 20 v 19

80+ 22 v 35

Total 263 v 213

• The 30 to 39-year-old age bracket saw the biggest decrease in lives lost, with a 23 per cent reduction from 40 in 2018 (31 people in 2019).

• The 18 to 24-year-old age bracket experienced the biggest increase in lives lost, with 100 percent more killed than in 2018.

REGIONAL FATALITIES

• Eastern – 80 deaths in 2019, compared to 79 in 2018 – five year average is 89.4

• Western – 96 deaths in 2019, compared to 56 in 2018 – five year average is 73.8

• Southern – 41 deaths in 2019, compared to 26 in 2018 – five year average is 40.4

• North West Metro – 46 deaths in 2019, compared to 49 in 2018 – five year average is 48.8

Please note: The figures released today are provisional only and subject to change as some deaths may be removed or added for a number of reasons. The Road Fatality Review Panel will meet in January and final figures for 2019 will be available on 3 February, 2020.

VICTORIAN LIVES LOST

2019 – 263

2018 – 213

2017 – 259

2016 – 290

2015 – 252

2014 – 248

2013 – 243

2012 – 282

2011 – 287

2010 – 288

2009 – 290

2008 – 303

2007 – 332

2006 – 337

2005 – 346

2004 – 343

2003 – 330

2002 – 397

2001 – 444

2000 – 407

1999 – 383

1998 – 390

1997 – 377

1996 – 417

1995 – 418

1994 – 378

1993 – 436

1992 – 396

1991 – 503

1990 – 548

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