The surge in the number of lives lost on Victorian roads in 2019 has led the state government to open a parliamentary inquiry into the issue.
The government is currently taking submissions from members of the public in a call for assistance to help to find solutions to lower the level of road trauma going forward.
While 266 lives were lost last year - an increase of 24.9 per cent from 2018 - there have already been 13 lives lost on Victorian roads in 2020, an increase of 85.7 per cent from the same period in 2019.
There were numerous deaths in the Ballarat region last year. Most recently, on December 29, 37-year-old mother Jess West and her five year old son Deighton died after their family's RAV4 collided with a truck at Kingston.
The driver of the truck, Michael Brent Knowler, has been charged with several offences. The case is currently going through court.
Further, an elderly man last week died following a collision in Ballarat on December 31. The man, in his 80s, was on his electronic scooter at the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets when he collided with a car. He was taken to hospital but later died on January 6. The police investigation is ongoing.
On the evening of January 16 a driver was killed at Mount Cameron, after they lost control of their vehicle. The vehicle left the road, went through a fence and subsequently caught fire. That investigation is also ongoing.
The parliamentary inquiry, conducted by the Legislative Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee, will examine how the state's Towards Zero 2016-20 Road Safety Strategy is working to reduce fatalities.
Committee Chair Nazih Elasmar said there was no single solution to dealing with road trauma and so a wide range of issues and options would be considered, including the different circumstances and responses required in metropolitan and regional areas.
The issues being considered include the scope of drug and alcohol testing, current speed enforcement measures and speed management policies in addition to current road standards and road maintenance.
Exploring how to reduce distractions while driving, such as mobile phone use, through the adoption of new technology is another issue that will be explored, in addition to consideration about how to improve the affordability of new vehicles with driver assist technology and the adequacy of driver training programs.
"As a community we need to work together to look at why this is happening and what can be done to turn this trend around," Mr Elasmar said.
"Fatalities on our roads affect communities and families across Victoria, so the committee hopes that people throughout the state will contribute their views and suggestions to our inquiry."
Submissions close on January 31, 2020 and can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information available here.
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