Fatalities spark safety warning

Police tested drivers for drugs and alcohol outside of Colac yesterday, impounding at least one vehicle. Colac Highway Patrol Sergeant Jamie Kahle said police would ramp up alcohol testing and have done more than 1700 tests in the past month.

“Three fatals is still three too many.”

Colac Highway Patrol’s top cop says there is an important message for motorists following three tragic road deaths in the Colac district last year, each in single-vehicle crashes.

“When you’re driving on your own, it’s really important not to become complacent; you need to stay focused,” Sergeant Jamie Kahle said.

“If you’re fatigued and tired, stop and rest. If you’re going to drive, don’t take drugs and don’t drink. Even if you’re feeling unwell, make sure you’re all right to drive. If you’re not, get someone else to drive you or use public transport if you can.”

Motorists died this year in single-vehicle crashes at Irrewillipe, Tanybryn and Bungador, while Victoria had its worst road toll in three years, with 263 deaths state-wide.

Speed was a factor in 22 per cent of Victorian crashes, and about one in five crashes involved fatigue or distraction.

Despite the Colac district’s low representation in the road toll, Sgt Kahle said each death was still a tragic outcome that police worked hard to prevent.

“The public have to be commended, but three fatals is still three too many. Each is a tragedy that we have to attend, and then go and knock on someone’s door and tell them that they’ve lost a loved one; it’s devastating for us, and for them,” he said.

“All three fatal crashes we’ve had were preventable; it reinforces the message that you need to pay attention on your own and you need to be focused and vigilant, particularly driving at night.

“You need to take wildlife into account, and weather conditions; there are so many things that can go wrong, so we want people to stay vigilant and focused because we want them to arrive at their destination safely.”

Meanwhile, Colac’s road police have had a busy December busting speeders, and have revealed alarming drug driving statistics for 2019.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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