Tackling road trauma

The Victorian Government has reaffirmed its focus on tackling road trauma after the state recorded an increase in the number of lives lost on the state’s roads.

Over the past year, 236 people died on the Victorian roads, compared with 211 in 2020.

This is a preventable loss of life and means many Victorians will be spending their first summer holiday without a family member, friend or colleague.

The year-on-year increase was primarily impacted by an increase in the number of lives lost on metropolitan roads, where there were 117 deaths compared with 84 in 2020. There was also an increase in single vehicle fatal crashes, which accounted for 46 lives lost, compared with 33 last year. 

Despite the state-wide increase, regional Victoria recorded its second-lowest number of lives lost on record with 119 deaths compared with 126 in 2020. Crashes on high-speed roads continued to be a challenge in regional Victoria where people are often driving longer distances and fatigue is too often fatal. 

Tragically, 36 people died while not wearing a seat belt, well up on the five-year average (23), while 96 fatalities were in vehicles more than 10 years old that often lack the modern safety features known to save lives.

20 pedestrians in metropolitan Melbourne and nine in regional Victoria lost their lives, while cyclist fatalities (10) were down on the 14 recorded in 2020.

Motorcyclist deaths increased to 41 (from 32 in 2020) and were equal with the five-year average, with 26 of these occurring on metropolitan roads.

There is more to be done to end road trauma, and the government will continue to work with the Road Safety Partnership, industry partners, and the community.

The Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 and Road Safety Action Plan 2021-2023 work across policy, education, technology, enforcement, vehicle safety and infrastructure to improve safety for vulnerable road users.  

The strategy sets ambitious targets to halve road deaths and significantly reduce serious injuries by 2030 and sets the state on a path to zero road deaths by 2050.