Home' The Great Southern Star : February 9th 2016 Contents PAGE 28 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, February 9, 2016
BASS Coast Highway Patrol is
working tirelessly to build a fu-
ture without road trauma in the
Towards Zero campaign.
The operation, in conjunction with
VicRoads and the Transport Accident
Commission, aims to completely elimi-
nate the road toll by implementing new
strategies to promote road safety.
Bass Coast Highway Patrol Sergeant
Jason Hullick said the campaign was
now operating in the region.
“The focus is on building stronger
systems. We have always focused on en-
forcement and taking preventative mea-
sures,” he said.
“It is well known people make mis-
takes. When they do we want to mini-
mise the risk of those mistakes resulting
in serious injury.
“We are now looking more at the col-
lision scene and what we believe to be
contributing factors and what has exac-
erbated injury in the event of a collision,
whether it is caused by trees, road infra-
structure or the cars themselves.”
Bass Coast Highway Patrol will pro-
duce audit reports in all road accidents
resulting in injury to build a safer envi-
ronment for drivers and passengers in
While some have argued a road toll
of zero was idealistic, Minister for Roads
and Road Safety Luke Donnellan argues
no level road trauma is acceptable.
“We realise Towards Zero sets an am-
bitious target but unless we’re working
towards the highest possible benchmark,
Victorians will continue to lose loved
ones to road trauma and we can never ac-
cept that,” he said.
“If we’re not aiming for zero, we are
saying to ourselves there is an acceptable
level of road trauma.”
Towards Zero promotes changes in
road safety over the past few decades and
the feasibility of decreasing road trauma.
The campaign looks at the 1061 per-
son road toll in 1970 and compares the
249 people who passed away on Victo-
rian roads in 2014.
South Gippsland has seen a similar
decrease in road fatalities over the past
few years alone.
“In 2014 there were nine fatalities
on roads in our region, last year there
were five, this is an improvement and we
should continue to work towards fewer,”
Sgt Hullick said.
“We want to work towards zero to-
gether as a community, not just within
law enforcement. We all live in the area
and something needs to be done.”
One focus area for Bass Coast High-
way Patrol is dealing with an increased
number of accidents caused by driver
“Driver distraction and fatigue are
the most common causes of road acci-
dents in the area, well above alcohol and
speeding. Over the last few years mobile
phone use has become a major issue on
the roads,” Sgt Hullick said.
“It is a challenge for us but we are us-
ing different techniques, including put-
ting undercover police roadside to catch
people on their phones.”
Offending drivers caught using their
mobile phones are faced with a $455 fine
and receive four demerit points.
“People may not like it but they have
to realise road trauma affects so many
people. Families lose loved ones, along
with friends and colleagues. CFA, ambu-
lance, police and everyone on the scene
are affected as well. It is pretty tough,”
Sgt Hullick said.
“Talk to each other about it. As a pas-
senger, prevent an accident. Speak up if
a driver needs to be spoken to. It might
take, 40, 50 or 60 years before we reach
zero, but we should be aiming for it.”
THE State Government will
be putting more money back
into young drivers’ wallets by
rewarding safe young drivers
with a free licence.
Young drivers who complete both
their red and green probationary periods
with no traffic offences or demerit points
will be rewarded for their safe driving
practices with a free three year licence.
The licence, worth $76, will be
awarded to drivers when they receive
their full licence for the first time.
As well as having a good driving
record, drivers must be issued a proba-
tionary licence before the age of 21 to
be eligible for the scheme.
The $24.4 million Practical Safe
Driving Program will provide beginner
drivers and supervising drivers with
the foundations for safe driving, help-
ing to support and enhance Victoria’s
Graduated Licensing System.
The program will be available for
all Year 10 students and will involve
both in-car and in-classroom compo-
nents, and link with the school curricu-
la in Victoria. It will begin to be rolled
out in schools from mid-2017.
Young and inexperienced drivers
face the greatest risk on our roads, with
road crashes continuing to be one of
the leading causes of death for young
people aged 18 to 25 years.
Both the Free Licence Scheme and
the Practical Safe Driving Program
are being delivered through the Young
Driver Safety Package, a suite of five
road safety initiatives targeted at im-
proving the safety of these vulnerable
The $146 million Young Driver
Safety Package provides young driv-
ers with education, support and expe-
rience through the road safety educa-
tion complex, practical safe driving
program, L2P - learner driver mentor
program, Free Licence Scheme, com-
munity grants, a communication fund
and student forums.
Minister for Roads and Road Safe-
ty Luke Donnellan said, “Responsible
and safe young drivers are an example
to their peers and it’s important that we
recognise and reward them.
“We can reduce road trauma among
young people by rewarding Victoria’s
most responsible young drivers.
“We want to make sure our young
people are coming home to their fami-
lies safely and we’re doing everything
we can to make sure that happens.”
Smart move: young drivers who complete both their red and green probation-
ary periods with no traffic offences or demerit points – including for drink
driving offences - will be rewarded for their safe driving practices with a free
three year licence.
Safe young drivers rewarded
No road death is acceptable
Eyes on road: from left, Leading Senior Constable Mick Richie, Sergeant Jason Hullick, Leading Senior Con-
stable Allan Piening, Senior Constable Will Watson and Leading Senionr Constable Greg Worcester of Bass
Coast Highway Patrol are working to bring the road toll down to zero.
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