Ballarat driving culture questioned

Motorists have been urged to drive with patience after a horror month of crashes on Ballarat roads.

EMERGENCY: Country Fire Authority crews at the scene of a crash on Sturt Street on August 12. It was followed by three more crashes in Ballarat on Monday morning, including a second Sturt Street incident. Picture: Dylan Burns

EMERGENCY: Country Fire Authority crews at the scene of a crash on Sturt Street on August 12. It was followed by three more crashes in Ballarat on Monday morning, including a second Sturt Street incident. Picture: Dylan Burns

Victoria Police said driver distraction caused most of the incidents on Monday, when there were three crashes alone in one morning.

The Courier’s Facebook page was flooded with comments from readers who said Ballarat was regularly host to some of the worst driving in the state.

Ballarat safe driving advocate John Maher said older drivers were just as irresponsible on the roads as their younger counterparts.

“The older driver is becoming really complacent, they are not always driving to the conditions of the road and the weather and they just think it will never happen to them,” he said.

“Ballarat drivers aren’t worse than drivers anywhere else I think complacency and lack of respect for other drivers and the other road user are the two areas we really need to look at.

“The driver thinks they own the road, they think it is their right and everyone else should fall into line with them.”

There have been four crashes on Sturt Street since July 19.

This include a three-car pile-up on August 10.

There have been 154 fatalities on the state’s roads so far this year, down from 185 at the some point in 2016.

We continue to see drivers, younger or older, continually breaking the speed limit, not just by five kilometres an hour, but by up to 100, and it is anti-social and completely risky.

Safe driving advocate John Maher

Fatigue was identified as a leading causes of crashes, with 20 per cent of fatalities and 30 per cent of severe single vehicle crashes caused by lack of sleep.

A person who has been not slept for more than 17 hours has the same risk of crashing as someone who has a blood alcohol reading of .05.

Mr Maher said drivers were continuing to take risks on the road and needed to be better educated.

Safe driving advocate John Maher

Safe driving advocate John Maher

“People are so impatient, I know we are all busy but we must be really patient on the road, because we are driving around a two-tonne vehicle,” he said.

“We continue to see drivers, younger or older, continually breaking the speed limit, not just by five kilometres an hour, but by up to 100, and it is anti-social and completely risky.”