Drivers treating highways like autobahns say police

Victoria Police is urging road users to be safe and responsible after a disappointing and deadly few weeks on our roads.

police car ashley geelan stock image

Despite there being far fewer vehicles on Victorian roads due to the current coronavirus pandemic, 23 lives have been lost since the start of July.

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy said there were dangerous trends emerging.

“Since there has been less cars on the road, we are seeing people treat the highways like a speedway,” she said.

“It is extremely concerning and dangerous not just for the offending driver – they place all road users in harm’s way.”

Victoria Police analysis suggests speed factors are a likely issue in about 40 per cent of road collisions.

AC Murphy said there were also growing issues involving motorcyclists.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of serious collisions involving motorcycles, both off-road and on-road,” she said.

“In about 60 per cent of fatal motorcycle collisions, we are seeing the motorcyclist as the party at fault.

“It is crucial that motorcyclists ride to the conditions and their experience.”

One motorcyclist was killed after losing control while travelling in convoy with a second motorcyclist in Mount Martha on 1 August.

Drugs and alcohol continue to be a prominent factor in serious road collisions.

Assistant Commissioner Murphy said other issues included distractions, particularly people looking at their mobile phones, and fatigue.

“We are seeing a trend of single-vehicle crashes where the vehicle comes off the road, especially in regional areas,” she said.

“Fatigue is something that everybody needs to be aware of and take the responsibility to manage before they get behind the wheel.”

A 27-year-old Shepparton man was killed in the early hours of 13 August after the car he was driving veered off the road and crashed into a tree.

Assistant Commissioner Murphy said all Victorian road users needed to remain conscious of their responsibilities on the road, drive to the conditions and stay safe.