Road Stats – Vic


I have been contemplating the merit (or lack there of) of a place I frequent which wants to drop all their speed zones to 40 km/h within its CBD.

4962604100_280e82ab6f_road-victoriaFrom personal experience, most of my near misses, and my only two collisions, have been at incredibly low speeds (30km/h or lower). At low speeds, I experience an increase in my impatience and frustration for the peasants all around me (although that’s beside the point) yet when i’m driving at 120km/h+ my focus and alertness is lifted to a much higher state.

From looking at statistics in I used in a past review, it is safe to assume that the push on speed limiting is not actually leading to safer driving practices when the vehicles that we drive are incredibly safe in crash comparison to their predecessors.

Regarding the TAC website, when looking at Victorian stats, one thing that I have noticed is that while you get figures for hospitalisation and deaths, they don’t actually say what speeds and other factors were involved. Yes, 26 year old Betty Millard* died “run off a straight road” however; was she driving at 60 or 100? Was she texting at the time? Was there alcohol in the system or fatigue? Did she swerve because a stupid cyclist decided to run a red light and sit in the lane as she entered the intersection?

In 2014 there were 248 deaths on Victorian roads. Of those, 110 were in metro Melbourne and the rest on Rural roads. The majority of those deaths in any one age bracket is 40 people; 30-39 years and 70+ years.

In 2015 we had 252 deaths, a one and a half percent increase. But wait… we have safer cars and more speed cameras and lower speed limits… that can’t be right! Of that, the majority of casualties was 46 people in the 70+ bracket; eight more than the next age bracket. 116 deaths in metro Melbourne.

Now year to date, there have been 242 deaths on Victorian roads. 115 in metro Melbourne and the rest on rural roads. Currently, the highest number of fatalities on the road is in the 40-49 year old age bracket with 36 individuals, the 70+ age bracket being in second place. This time last year the road toll was 217. 25 less, but since then there has been so much happening on the roads to slow drivers down. So why is it not working?

Lets now look at the 5 year average for the calendar year:

The 70+ group is the highest with 41 people dying on average. Thirteen above the next group, 30 – 39 years old.

Rural roads are more dangerous than metro Melbourne 119 to 98. Places like Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo etc., are all counted in this bracket; it is Melbourne and other. So I believe the term rural is a bit misleading, as when I read rural I instantly think crappy road out in the Grampians where the centre is tarmac and the sides are dirt.

Unsurprisingly, more men die than women. I’m sorry feminists you will have to work harder!

What I am getting at here with these limited statistics is that the TAC advertising is telling us speed is the biggest threat and killer on our roads. I tried to bring up speed fatality stats on their site and i just got a graph on how driving slower will mean you don’t hit someone. But I pose this question… how many 70+ drivers actually drive above 10km/h under the speed limit? These are the ones dying most on our roads, and if they’re notoriously slow then deaths will have to be from another area, and this should be focused on more.

Our nanny state mind sets must move away from speed being bad and focusing on distraction, fatigue, poor driver training, poor adherence to road rules, alcohol and drug influence, poor vehicle maintenance, and poor road quality.

The statistics for road deaths have been rising over the years, not falling. Our vehicles are so much safer, even a crappy Hyundai can be safe in a crash. Our speed limits are being reduced constantly, more speed cameras are set up, more police, marked and unmarked, are pulling speeding vehicles over. If faster speeds are what is killing us on the roads, then why oh why are the numbers going up with all this in place?

While I am a rather grumpy individual and generally hate everyone around me, life, no matter how annoying the individual, is precious. Find the real cause behind why the roads are unsafe, TAC, Vicroads, local and state governments, and fix those instead. I’ll give you a hint… Driver… Training!

This is Grumpy Motorist signing off and telling you to USE YOUR DAMNED INDICATOR!

*Fictional name

Photo by MSVG