Christmas should be a time of joy, not tragedies on our roads

ON the eve of the busiest time of the year on our roads, three more lives were lost on Victorian roads at the weekend as a result of crashes.

With the Christmas season almost upon us,  motorists should be concentrating more on the roads and heeding the road rules.

Add to the mix, families travelling to holiday destinations for the school break, and our roads will soon become dangerous places to be. The impending festive season is a time when all drivers should be extra vigilant on our roads. 

Christmas should be a time for catching up with family and friends and sharing joys and laughter. It should not be a time of grieving, of arranging funerals or attending hospitals. But all too often at this time of the year, families and friends are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Despite constant – and sometimes graphic – campaigns by police and other road authorities, the messages about speeding, drink-driving and mobile phone use don’t seem to be getting through to some people.

While police exercises like Operation Eureka and Operation Raid are regularly held, some motorists still like to think that they’re infallible.

But they’re not ... just ask the families of the three people killed on Victorian roads within a six-hour period at the weekend. Those killed included a truck driver whose vehicle ran off the Calder Freeway, plunged 20 metres down an embankment and crossed the Campaspe River at Carlsruhe, south of Kyneton, on Saturday. The driver, the sole occupant, died at the scene.

A 46-year-old female pedestrian also died when she was struck as she tried to cross Monash Avenue at Nyah West. And a motorcyclist lost his life when he hit a car at Golden Square near Bendigo on Friday night.

The fatalities took Victoria’s road toll to 250, three more than this time last year. Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu on Saturday urged road users to take care.

“Whether you’re driving, whether you’re a passenger, please take care, don’t speed, don’t drink and drive and stay alert to stay alive,” Mr Baillieu said.

His thoughts would surely be echoed by the hard-working and dedicated police officers who are only trying to make our roads a safer place to be for not only Christmas, but for 365 days a year.

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