THE number of road deaths on Ballarat’s outskirts continues to rise.
Fast becoming one of the most dangerous areas in Victoria in relation to fatalities, the Moorabool Police Service Area recorded 12 deaths in the 12 months to April this year.
Encompassing the Hepburn, Golden Plains and Moorabool shire councils, the road toll has risen sharply over the past three years in the Moorabool PSA.
In the 12 months prior to the latest collection of data, eight people died on the roads and the year before that, just three people lost their lives.
That equates to a 300 per cent rise in two years - the fourth highest of the 54 police command areas in the state.
Moorabool Police Inspector Mike Myers said there was no single reason as to why the road toll continued to climb.
An increase in traffic on roads that are not made to accommodate large volumes of traffic, tourist traffic and a general lack of driver concentration are key factors, according to Inspector Myers.
“The majority of collisions are preventable and the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how many police there are on the road, drivers must take responsibility for their own actions,” he said.
Inspector Myers pointed to the latest fatality, that of a 52-year-old Corio motorbike passenger who was killed in Ballan on Monday, as an example of the dire consequences inattention could have.
He said an extra police member would be appointed to the Moorabool Highway Patrol unit next month, but motorists also had to take their safety into their own hands.
In the Ballarat Police Service Area, fatalities actually fell away sharply compared to the previous 12 months.
While the amount of hospital admissions rose from 85 to 99, road deaths fell from 11 to five in the same time period.
Those five deaths came from three accidents, including a triple fatality at Burrumbeet where a learner motorist was driving.
Ballarat Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Pat Cleary said he was pleased with the trend of the declining fatal crashes, but said one was still too many.
“And around Ballarat, the amount of crashes and severity of the crashes could be easily avoided if people were wearing seatbelts without distraction or inattention,” he said.