We have seen a horror start to 2023, with 42 lives lost on Victorian roads to date, several of which have occurred across the North-East and Goulburn Valley.
There is no easy solution to road safety.
A parliamentary road safety committee could play a big role in providing solutions to drive the road toll down, yet the Andrews Labor Government voted down the motion in Parliament.
Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, said in the past the committee had been crucial in making Victoria a road safety leader.
“This committee was responsible for inquiries from its very inception in 1967 that resulted in Victoria’s then world-leading road safety initiatives,” Ms Cleeland said.
“These initiatives were associated with significant reductions in injury and fatality on Victorian roads, including the introduction of mandatory seatbelt wearing, the demerit point system, random breath testing, the list goes on.
“It is disappointing that Labor, having axed the committee in 2015, has refused to bring it back and keep Victoria at the cutting edge of life-saving technology and initiatives.
“As Shadow Roads Minister Steph Ryan also tried to bring this committee back but it was blocked by the Andrews Government.”
Ms Cleeland said the decision comes at a time when regional Victorians faced some of the most unsafe road conditions.
“People right across our region know the state of our roads is absolutely abysmal,” Ms Cleeland said.
“The Nationals conducted a poll last year which showed some of the worst roads in the state are in our own backyard including Heathcote-Nagambie Rd, Murchison-Violet Town Rd and even major highways like the Hume and GV.”
The decision to block the re-establishment of the committee and not provide secure investment in the network could have impacts on road safety.
“Long-term investment means safer roads, but it’s also about driving down the road toll with intervention initiatives and research into the latest technology,” Ms Cleeland said
“This disregard for a committee that has driven so much change over decades leaves regional motorists at a disadvantage.”