IT'S a sobering statistic which shows just how awful this year has been on our roads.
After two people died near Sunbury late on Thursday night, 2019 has now seen as many fatalities in road accidents across Victoria as we saw for the whole of 2018.
And it's due to the rise in regional road deaths.
Of the 211 people who have died on our roads since January 1, 119 of those have been on regional roads, and frighteningly, 24 of those have been on roads around Ballarat and Moorabool and Southern Grampians.
For Acting Inspector Ben Young, it's been a horrible year one that has forced police to implement predictive trauma tasking which has seen them target known hotspots.
"The start of the year, we were having one a week," Inspector Young said.
"We've implemented predictive trauma tasking which is ultimately based on historic data, seeing what the trends have been int he past few months, logging triple-0 calls and fortunately we've seen those numbers reduce in recent months.
"But it's not an exact science - you just have to look at the weekend; we had five people taken to hospital after a crash on the freeway near Miners Rest, we had the situation earlier in the week where a driver crashed into a tree on Remembrance Drive, we had two taken to hospital in Stoneleigh.
"It only takes a few centimetres and no injury can become another fatality."
Inspector Young said 91 per cent of fatalities in the region had been on high speed roads.
He said anyone of the 'Big Five' - speed, fatigue, impairment, distraction and not wearing seatbelts - were among the causes.
READ MORE: Drivers ignoring key safety measures
"We can run as many of the lines as we want, but ultimately it's about preparing for your journey, understanding and driving to the conditions, not being impaired with either through alcohol or drugs, wearing your seatbelt," he said.
"But you need to know that if you are on a high speed road, your risk of serious injury if something goes wrong is greatly enhanced."
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