No evidence that overseas drivers a danger on Great Ocean Road, MP says

There is no definitive evidence to show international drivers are a danger on the Great Ocean Road, a state MP says.

In responding to a motion from Western Victorian MP James Purcell on introducing a test for international drivers, Greens MP Samantha Dunn said there was not enough data to show that international licence-holders were over-represented in crashes along the Great Ocean Road.

At the same time, Ms Dunn called on the state government to do more to get safety information out to self-drive tourists.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms Dunn said although Mr Purcell stated that 21 per cent of crashes on the Great Ocean Road from July 2012 to June 2017 were caused by international licence-holders, there was not data available on what proportion of drivers on the Great Ocean Road were overseas drivers.

 “It is not possible to determine whether that figure is over-representative. There is no definitive evidence, therefore, to come to Mr Purcell’s conclusion that international licence-holders are a danger on our roads,” she said.

“The conclusion that we can draw is that international drivers are involved in some accidents on the Great Ocean Road, and this needs to be addressed in the broader context of road safety on the Great Ocean Road and, more broadly, in regional Victoria.”

Ms Dunn urged more analysis be done to see whether efforts towards driver education, such as bilingual signs, speed limit reductions and parking management, were making a difference to driver behaviour.

She said a state government safety video aimed at international drivers had a less than impressive reach.

“The English version, released on 17 December, had only 400 views as of Monday this week. The Mandarin version, released on 22 December, had only 222 views as of Monday, 5 February,” Ms Dunn said. 

“The reach of these safety videos is clearly not good enough, as there would be thousands of self-drive international visitors in regional Victoria on any given day during the summer.

“More needs to be done for this safety information to be viewed by target audiences.” 

Liberal MP David Davis said it was fact that non-Victorian licence holders were over represented in accident statistics in the south-west.

“I am informed that more than 20 per cent of the accidents along that area in the south-west, particularly along the Great Ocean Road, are non-Victorian licence-holders, and that includes work visa holders, tourists and others. There is, according to the police and local communities, a genuine issue,” he said.

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