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Road Minister’s plan to tackle ‘awful’ year on Victorian roads

A staggering 131 people have lost their lives on Victorian roads so far this year, a 54 percent increase on the same time last year.

A week out from a major road safety summit to address the state’s rising road toll, Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Jaala Pulford, joined Neil Mitchell to outline her road safety plan.

“We’re having an awful, awful year on our roads,” she told the 3AW Mornings host.

But Ms Pulford stressed that comparing figures to last year, when the road toll was the lowest ever, is misleading.

“Watching the long term trend is really important, and so a reduction of around three per cent per year is the trajectory that we’ve been on,” she said.

Ms Pulford said infrastructure improvements including installing barriers on high speed roads and improving the quality of intersections are high priorities.

She told Neil Mitchell that introducing double demerit points on weekends and holidays, a measure taken by other states, is unlikely but “not off the table.”

“Previous analysis has suggested that this would not be an effective measure,” she said.

The Victorian government is closely monitoring NSW and Tasmanian trials of new camera technology which looks into vehicles to detect phone usage.

“Phones and the impact of distractions are a huge challenge,” Ms Pulford said.

A new advertising campaign is about to be launched to highlight the risks of distracted driving caused by phone use.

Press PLAY below to hear Jaala Pulford’s interview with Neil Mitchell in full.