Making Victoria’s Visitors Safer on the Roads
The state Government has launched a new campaign in hopes to help International visitors in Victoria stay safe on our roads.
The Visiting Driver Road Safety Program was unveiled by Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren and is focusing on visiting drivers travelling during the busy holiday period on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar conditions.
Victoria is seeing more international visitors than ever and more than a third of these visitors choosing a self-driving holiday, the need to boost road awareness and safety has never been more important.
The new initiative is being led by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, in partnership with the Transport Accident Commission, Victoria Police and VicRoads.
Modelled on the successful New Zealand international driver safety project, the initiative is being supported by the major vehicle rental companies which recognise the critical responsibility they have in ensuring their clients are aware of road safety risks.
The safety messages will be distributed to visiting drivers through various channels including bi-lingual videos, digital advertising, social media and promotional materials within hire vehicles, with key messages including:
Pull over to take photos and enjoy the scenery;
Journeys may take longer than you think. Allow extra time;
Take a break every two hours;
Drive within the limits and to the conditions;
Get to know the road rules, signs and markings before you drive;
Everyone must wear seatbelts;
Remember to keep left; and
Avoid distractions: do not use mobile phones or other devices while driving.
The number of lives lost on Victorian roads was down in 2017 and the state Government will continue to drive this figure down through an investment in safer roads and motorists.
Last year 255 people lost their lives on Victorian’s roads – 35 less than in 2016.
The state Government is investing $1.1 billion in safer road infrastructure and road policing through its Towards Zero Action Plan, which aims to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads to fewer than 200 and cut the number of serious injuries by 15 per cent by 2020.
This work will continue in 2018, with a focus on regional roads where Victorians are four times more likely to be killed and 40 per cent more likely to be seriously injured.
While overall road deaths were down in 2017, the number of people killed on regional roads increased slightly to 152.
The Government will continue to roll out its $340 million program to install life-saving infrastructure such as flexible safety barriers along Victoria’s 20 highest-risk roads.
Barriers are expected to reduce the number of head-on and run-off-road crashes by 85 per cent, and have been installed or are currently being installed on 12 roads, with work to continue in 2018.
The state Government will also continue investing in important motorcyclist safety upgrades on Victorian roads through the Motorcycle Safety Levy.
Twelve cyclists died on our roads in 2017 – four more than 2016. Half of these involved vehicles travelling in the same direction.
In November, the TAC and VicRoads launched a year-long community education campaign designed to change motorists’ behaviours and attitudes towards push bike riders.
The state Government is also investing in infrastructure that keeps cyclists and pedestrians safe through the $100 million Safer Cyclists and Pedestrians Fund.