Police have praised Ballarat’s drivers after the release of official road toll statistics yesterday.
Just two fatalities were recorded in Ballarat for the 2012 calendar year, down from three in 2011.
By comparison, 16 road deaths were recorded in Geelong during 2012.
The Ballarat Highway Patrol has conducted regular operations over the past 12 months, including ongoing operations which target speed, drink-driving and mobile phone offences.
Operations such as Operation Surprise, where officers hide behind trees and radio ahead to waiting police cars about drivers they’ve observed on their phones, have been very successful.
The visiting Automated Number Plate Recognition System, which instantly identifies unregistered vehicles, has also been prolific in Ballarat during 2012.
Statewide, Victoria lost 282 lives on the roads in 2012 – five less than in 2011.
This year’s toll is the fifth consecutive record low and marks the seventh year in a row where the road toll has continued to drop.
Despite the positive trend, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said there were five lives lost last weekend and it was a real reminder that Victorians couldn’t take their minds off road safety for a second.
“While a fifth consecutive record low road toll is something the community should be congratulated for, we can never rest on our laurels and need to strive for no deaths on Victorian roads,” Mr Hill said.
“Almost 21 per cent of people killed on our roads last year were aged between 18 and 24.” The statistics show 152 deaths were recorded on roads in country Victoria, while 129 fatalities occurred in Melbourne.
While young people aged between 18 and 24 made up the largest group represented in road deaths (21 per cent), there is a growing trend in the number of older drivers losing their lives on Victorian roads.