A HIGH number of recent car crashes on local roads has led to a Regional Roads Victoria warning that serious road accidents on regional roads typically involve factors such as fatigue, speed, the influence of alcohol or drugs, and driver distraction.
During the last couple of weeks alone, two serious accidents have occurred at the intersection of Bellarine Highway and Melaluka Road in Leopold.
Social media posts on December 3 and November 27 also reported crashes along Bellarine Highway, and on Tuesday December 4, a fatal collision occurred on Barwon Heads Road at Connewarre where a man died at the scene, while another was hospitalised with minor injuries.
While the causes of some of these crashes are still being investigated, Regional Roads Victoria said their number one priority was keeping people safe on the roads.
Regional director (South West) Mark Koliba said as part of their maintenance blitz this summer, Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) were delivering significant road rebuilding works and safety improvements on key routes throughout Geelong and the Bellarine, including Lower Duneed Road, Anglesea Road and the Bellarine Highway.
“To improve roads across regional Victoria, the Victorian Government is investing $333 million for road maintenance, including $84 million in the south west alone,” Mr Koliba said.
“Road rebuilding and shoulder widening works are under way on a 1.5-kilometre section of Lower Duneed Road (between Barwon Heads Road and Charlemont Road), with works also planned for a 2.5-kilometre section of the Bellarine Highway in the New Year.
“Earlier this year, RRV also installed new traffic lights at the intersection of Melaluka Road and Portarlington Road, to improve safety for all road users (especially pedestrians).”
The state government is also investing $1.1 billion into the Towards Zero Action Plan, which aims to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads to 200 or fewer and serious injuries by 15 per cent by 2020.
“In the long term, the goal is to achieve a future where nobody dies on our roads,” he said.
During 2017, the Surf Coast Highway experienced 24 accidents (seven of those serious), the Bellarine Highway 29 (nine of those serious), and Portarlington Road 26 (11 of those serious).
MEANWHILE, during the Christmas-New Year holidays, police will be running a high-profile road policing operation across the state Operation Roadwise is on now and will run to January 6, and will focus on enforcement and improving driver behaviour.
Police will be out in force to target the five leading causes of death and serious injury on our roads – speed, impairment, distraction, not wearing seatbelts and fatigue.
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said that in the run up to Christmas, police would have a particular focus on drink and drug driving.
“Alcohol and drug buses will be operating throughout the state and our officers will be testing as many motorists and riders as possible to get those who are impaired off our roads.”
RRV is committed to providing safe conditions for all road users, and they encourage the community to notify them about road issues by phoning 133 778.