THE south-west has recorded two less road fatalities than last year as police push for a safer lead-up to Christmas.
South-west police road safety risk manager Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo said any life lost on the roads was a tragedy.
He said this year’s south-west road toll to date was seven, compared to nine for 2017.
"Two lives were lost in December last year," he said.
"That's the last thing we want this year.
"There were presents under Christmas trees that were never have been opened by their intended recipients.
"And every Christmas from then on would be tainted because of those deaths on the roads."
Senior Sergeant Asenjo said any death had a massive ripple effect through a community.
"Kids are finishing school, they've got summer sport on, parents are very busy working up to the end of the year, keeping everything organised and there's Christmas functions," he said.
"It can be a recipe for disaster. Throw in a family holiday, even if it's just to a Warrnambool holiday park, and it's a high stress time."
The roads safety chief said drivers had to avoid the risk factors of impairment, speed, fatigue and distraction and plan any trips.
He said serious accident were also well down across the south-west, but the impact of those could be life-changing.
"Things can change very quickly," he said.
"We had two fatalities in 24 hours during October. We just want everyone to be safe in the lead-up to Christmas."
On Sunday a highway patrol officer intercepted a drug impaired driver at 2pm, who was then banned from driving for 12 hours.
The man, who is well known to police, was pulled over again at 5pm and tested positive again to methamphetamines.
Senior Sergeant Asenjo said the man had been referred to support services for help with his drug issues.
"We're not just about enforcement, we also offer the opportunity to get help," he said.
"Someone might say 'no', the first, but if they are pulled up again may seek the help they need."
Police are also launching an alcohol-focused campaign across the south-west in the holiday period.
"It's a targeted campaign even though our positive alcohol tests are now far less than our positive drugs tests," Senior Sergeant Asengo said.
"That campaign will targets pubs and sporting clubs and will be in addition to other statewide campaigns being run. We still think those places are potential trouble spots that need attention," he said.
Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford on Monday joined the representatives from the Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads and Victoria Police to launch a new Christmas road safety campaign, ‘knocking on doors’.
The 195 lives lost so far this year is a record low for the start December but a television ad highlights the worst part of any police officer’s job, delivering tragic news to loved ones of people killed in road crashes.
The campaign was developed to remind people about the tragic outcomes of risk-taking behaviour on the roads and urges people to think about the ripple effect of the choices we make.
The police will have a strong presence across the state these holidays, with extra police shifts and community information campaigns to curb the number of people being killed on country roads.