Twenty-three deaths on Victorian roads since the start of July – including a motorcyclist killed at Mount Martha – have prompted a police plea for motorists to stop using our highways as a speedway. Assistant Commissioner Libby Murphy, from Victoria’s Road Policing Command, said far fewer cars on our roads because of the COVID-19 lockdown had seen dangerous driver trends emerge, with Victoria Police analysis suggesting speed was a likely factor in about 40 per cent of accidents.
“Since there has been less cars on the road, we are seeing people treat the highways like a speedway,” Ms Murphy said. “It is extremely concerning and dangerous, not just for the offending driver – they place all road-users in harm’s way.”
Ms Murphy said the growing number of accidents involving motorcyclists was an increasing concern for police. These include the death of a motorcyclist who lost control while travelling in convoy with a second motorcyclist in Mount Martha on August 1.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of serious collisions involving motorcycles both off-road and on-road,” she said. “In about 60 per cent of fatal motorcycle collisions, we are seeing the motorcyclist as the party at fault. It is crucial that motorcyclists ride to the conditions and their experience.”
Drugs and alcohol continued to figure prominently in serious road collisions, while driver distraction – particularly people looking at their mobile phones – and fatigue were also factors.