Close to 300 people were killed in 2023 on Victoria’s roads, making last year one of the worst in recent times for road fatalities.
Police have urged motorists to take greater care behind the wheel. The high number of fatalities also means there’ll be a greater emphasis on the usual road risks, which will mean more drug testing in Victoria.
In an article in the Herald Sun, Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir has lamented the carnage on the roads. The 2023 fatality figure was the highest for 15 years and he said that Victoria Police would be doing all it can do to stop the carnage.
“Such a significant amount of the trauma we saw last year was through single acts of noncompliance,” Mr Weir said in the article.
“Not stopping at a stop sign, running a red light, a little bit over 0.5, a little bit over the speed limit … but they all have lifetime impacts on so many people.”
As well as more roadside drug testing, Mr Weir said Victoria Police will be getting 2000 new preliminary breath testing devices and conducting more alcohol testing than ever before.
When it comes to drug drivers, Mr Weir said the statistics were frightening, with around 20 per cent of all people killed on the roads in 2023 having drugs in their system. He added that drugs are now a bigger problem than alcohol on our roads.
“We’ve seen a change in behaviour on the road and it is just so bad. And that’s at the back end of a year that has seen the highest trauma in 15 years. But that’s what we are seeing. People are still taking those risks. There’s a disconnect between people understanding the risk that they are taking and thinking it won’t happen to them,” Mr Weir said in the article.
Will we see more roadside drug testing in Victoria in 2024? It seems the answer is yes.
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Victoria Police is likely to increase roadside drug testing as well as taking further measures to decrease an alarming road toll. Credit Ilja Nedilko https://unsplash.com/photos/a-police-officer-standing-on-the-side-of-a-road–Vl4Ry1kqBA