Road deaths have already tripled in the region this year compared to the total tally for 2015.
In the past month five people have died on our roads, the same as last year’s figure over a 12 month period.
The road toll currently stands at 18 for the Moorabool, Hepburn and Ballarat government areas following the deaths of a man and woman on Daylesford-Malmsbury Road on Wednesday night.
TAC chief executive officer Joe Calafiore has described the road toll as “completely heartbreaking” and said it had been a year of “terrible tragedy” on Victorian roads.
He said more could be done to get trauma trends back in the right direction.
“The day we had on Wednesday really played it out. We had five fatalities in Victoria, all of them on country roads,” Mr Calafiore said.
He said there was more risk of fatality on country roads because of higher speeds, travelling longer distances and that deadly consequences often followed mistakes or mishaps on roads without barrier coverage.
Road safety advocate John Maher, whose daughter was killed in a road accident, said the road toll was “just horrific” and the rise in the Ballarat area “unacceptable”.
“On the roads we’ve lost a lot of respect and you’re getting people losing their lives because it only takes one error. A car out of control is actually a deadly weapon.”
A total of 248 people have died on the state's roads so far this year, which is the same number as the total number of road deaths in Victoria for 2014.
But Mr Calafiore was confident the state would be able to achieve a road toll of under 200 by 2020 and believed Towards Zero was the right strategy and messaging.
He said the strategy is based around investment in safer roads, technology advancement, law enforcement and education.
“We’re not saying for one second that by the next five years the road toll will be zero, as much as we would love to say that, it’s the towards.
“Now what has happened this year is the road toll has gone up, so we’ve gone in the wrong direction. But at least in Victoria (compared to nationally) there is a very clear strategy in place to turn it around.”
Mr Calafiore said he was expecting the final road toll to be “in the vicinity of a 280 type of result”.
“We have to acknowledge that it will be a desperately sad number,” he said.
“We can do a lot better and we have the strategy in place to ensure we do a lot better.”
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