Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has met with road trauma victims at Bendigo Health in support of La Trobe University’s proposed Rural Road Trauma Research Hub.
“The impacts of road trauma have been strongly felt by rural communities for too long.” Chesters said.
“Road safety and the ongoing cost of care as a result of road trauma is an issue that is often raised with me.
“Every fatality, and every serious injury, on our roads someone’s loved one. That’s something we’re seeing first hand at Bendigo Health today.
“The proposed hub would examine the social and economic impact of serious road injury on regional communities and how this can be reduced,” Chesters said.
The Rural Road Trauma Research Hub would combine research expertise from across La Trobe’s Bendigo campus, including in rural health, psychology, pharmacy, engineering, planning, education and law.
As part of the innovative model, research would focus on reducing the disproportionate number of people who die and are seriously injured on Australia’s rural roads each year.
Head of La Trobe’s Rural Health School, Professor Pamela Snow, said people living in rural areas are more likely to die or suffer life-threatening injury than those living in metropolitan areas.
“This is due to the combined picture of road and driving conditions and people’s behaviour and judgement on rural and regional roads,” Snow said.
“Therefore we need to produce safer diving conditions in terms of road and vehicle design and address attitudes and behaviours across a range of road user-groups.”
“By taking a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach, we can find place-based solutions that are more likely to work – because we know rural driving is different.”
Rural road trauma and population statistics*:
- Around 238 people die on Victorian roads each year. Of those, 132 people (55 per cent) die in rural and regional areas, and 106 (45 per cent) in metropolitan Melbourne.
- In 2017 Melbourne’s population was around 4.82 million (76 per cent), and regional Victoria’s 1.48 million (24 per cent).
- An average of seven people per year die on roads in the Greater Bendigo region alone.
- Of fatal crashes on rural Victorian roads, the most prevalent crash type is “run off a straight road”, followed by “opposing direction”, and then “run off road on a curve”. In Melbourne the most prevalent crash type is “pedestrian”.
- 69 per cent of people who die on rural roads are male. Saturday is the most common day of the week for fatal road crashes in rural Victoria.
*Taken from www.tac.vic.gov.au