Victorian road deaths drop 21% in 2018

Three new lanes on the widened Gateway Motorway between Nudgee and Deagon, delivered as part of the $1.1 billion Gateway Upgrade North project in Queensland, are now open to traffic.Victoria has recorded its lowest number of road deaths since the state began tracking vehicle fatalities with 214 incidents reported last year.

These numbers reveal a 21% decrease since 2017 and 29 fewer deaths than the previous record low of 243 in 2013.

The record follows a notable downturn in road fatalities on high-speed regional roads, which had claimed the most lives in the previous year from 119 down to 67 deaths in 2018.

Acting Chief Regional Roads Officer Brian Westly said despite investments in road safety infrastructure, the road toll remains too high.

“We’re rolling out flexible safety barriers on our highest risk roads because they are proven to save lives and we’ll be continuing our massive program of work to improve the safety of regional roads this year,” Mr Westly said.

The Victorian State Government has implemented around 1,500 kilometres of safety barriers, recording hundreds of barrier hits across the state.

TAC Chief Executive Officer Joe Calafiore said new infrastructure, like the barrier technology, is helping to reduce the severity of crashes and save lives.

“These stats show that our unprecedented investment into road safety infrastructure is heading in the right direction, but there is still a long way for us to go in reaching zero lives lost,” Mr Calafiore said.

Seven cyclists and 38 pedestrians died last year across Victoria; the State Government is planning further invest through its $100 million Safer Cyclists and Pedestrians Fund.

Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford said the state is benefitting from Labor’s approach to road safety and will continue to invest in life-saving infrastructure.

“Any reduction in the number of people dying on our roads is welcome but the fact remains that hundreds of Victorian families will start 2019 without loved ones,” Minister Pulford said.

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