BALLARAT’S rising road toll has bucked a statewide trend in which Victoria looks set to post a record low number of deaths on our roads.
In the latest TAC stats to be released this week, five fatalities were recorded in the Ballarat region in the 12 months leading up to September this year.
This compares with just two in the previous 12 months, but 12 in the year prior to that.
In Victoria the toll is six per cent lower than it was at the same time last year – in Ballarat it is 150 per cent higher.
Ballarat Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Pat Cleary said in the four crashes that resulted in the fatalities, speeding was being investigated in three of them as part of the Coroner’s investigation.
In the other, it is believed mobile phone use might have been a factor.
“These are the things that we keep seeing as the biggest factors in crashes on our roads,” Senior Sereant Cleary said.
“Speed and distraction are the two things we will continue to target.”
He said although any rise in road deaths was never good, percentages could at times be somewhat misleading, given the relatively low numbers in the Ballarat figures.
Senior Sergeant Cleary called on the community to help reduce to the toll back towards the record low levels on 2012.
“It was a credit to the community last year,” he said.
“Two deaths is still too many but it was a massive step in the right direction.
“We need to get back towards that.”
Ballarat’s top traffic cop called on the Ballarat community to work with police in helping reduce the road toll, not against them
“We need everybody on board, it is not just a police effort,” he said.
“We are working extremely hard, but we need people to do their bit as well and work together with us.”