By VINNIE RODI
MILDURA police have vowed to come down hard on those caught doing the wrong thing behind the wheel following a horror series of road deaths across our region.
The Mildura Police Service Area road toll sits at 11 so far this year – nine more than this time last year – with three fatalities occurring over a disastrous eight-day period.
Six fatalities have occurred on Mildura roads, with the most recent incident occurring on Monday night at Red Cliffs, where a 20-year-old male was killed in a collision.
Two men were also left in serious conditions following the incident, and are currently being treated in Melbourne.
Mildura police Traffic Advisor, Senior Sergeant Daron Hulls, PICTURED, said the horrific period on our roads had taken a toll on the entire community. He called for motorists to take more care behind the wheel.
“From our point of view, and we’ve said this a number of times, these are local collisions that involve local people on local roads, and they have a lasting impact across the community and for the people involved,” he said.
“Local services are also being impacted, including members of Victoria Police and other services, because as we all live in the community too… so we’re urging motorists to take care.
“The most recent incident occurred on Monday night, and unfortunately a 20-year-old male has lost his life in the collision.
“Meanwhile, two other males aged in their 30s are now in hospital in Melbourne with life-threatening and life-altering injuries as a result of that collision.
“The early indication at this stage from the investigation point of view is that speed and alcohol may have been a factor…
“Police look at all causation factors, and early indication with a few of these accidents is that there is a potential that speed and alcohol are involved, and potentially distraction and fatigue.
“We’ve seen a dramatic rise in fatalities across the division, and in Mildura in particular we’ve had six fatalities – which is six too many.”
Snr Sgt Hulls confirmed that the three most recent fatal accidents remained under investigation.
“We’ve had assistance from the Major Collision Investigation Unit from Melbourne, and again they are looking at all three of these collisions individually, and as the investigation proceeds, if there is any act of criminality I would expect charges to be laid,” he said.
Snr Sgt Hulls said that it was vital motorists adhere to the road rules, while also urging drivers to plan ahead to avoid putting themselves or other road users at risk.
“A number of local venues have courtesy buses and services available if people decide to head out, and we have taxi services, so we’re urging people to use these facilities, and to not drink and drive,” he said.
“We’re asking people to plan ahead if they are going on long drives and to schedule breaks, and to not be distracted by mobile phones, and to obey the speed limit.”
Snr Sgt Hulls said that local members had also seen “an alarming increase in high speeds.”
“This is having an alarming impact on our roads,” he said. “We will continue to be out in force, and we’ll be looking at all these offences, and those caught will suffer the consequences.”