Today I bring to the attention of the Parliament the importance of road safety as we move into the holiday season.
Ten people have died on the roads in the Shepparton local government area this year.
At the same time last year it was only two.
Thirty-five people have died in motor vehicle accidents across the Goulburn Valley this year to date.
Police have appealed to drivers to take extra care during the forthcoming holiday season. Superintendent Michael Sayer of our region said that 21 of the victims were local people driving on roads that were familiar to them. Fatalities can occur anywhere in any conditions; road trauma does not discriminate.
Every day we are faced with the news of yet another fatality on our roads. We know the factors that contribute to road accidents: speeding, fatigue, new and young drivers, drugs and alcohol, and distractions such as mobile phones. While increased enforcement, targeted education, adoption of vehicle safety technologies and improvements to the road network all have an impact on road safety and contribute to a reduction in the road toll, it is essential that drivers understand their responsibilities when they get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The flow-on effect of road trauma is huge for families and our communities. It is not only the fatalities but also the serious injuries which can be the cause of so much pain for families. With the harvest season well underway in regional areas extra care should be taken on country roads so that holidays for all Victorians and their families are happy and peaceful.