The south-west is dramatically over-represented in fatal road accidents, accounting for more than seven per cent of the state's 2019 road toll, but making up only 1.5 per cent of the population.
On Monday, Victoria's road toll stood at 113. Of those deaths, eight occurred in the south-west, compared with nine for all of 2018, or two in the same period.
The region is over-represented, with the Warrnambool, Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne and Southern Grampians local government areas making up just 1.5 per cent of the state's population in the 2016 census.
Last Tuesday a 63-year-old Warrnambool man died after his truck rolled north of Woolsthorpe. The truck, which was carrying a load of milled timber, landed on its roof.
On Sunday afternoon a man and woman in their 20s died at Carranballac, about 16 kilometres east of Skipton, when they pulled onto the Glenelg Highway and into the path of a four-wheel drive towing a caravan.
Traffic police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said the caravan and the four-wheel drive had nowhere to go but to plough into them. He said the latest deaths added to an already tragic start to the year.
"If we continue to lose lives on our roads the way we are at this point of the year, there may be 300 souls lose their lives on Victorian roads this year," Mr Leane said.
"It is a terrible place to be considering that we had a record last year of 213, a record low."
South-west police road safety manager Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo said the tragic Glenelg Highway accident was located just outside of the south-west.
"This tells us that we need to get more police into the far reaches of our region," he said.
"We are definitely looking to do more in that space. We had an additional highway patrol unit rostered on everyday during April and we have been given additional funding for more shifts, which we are in the process of coordinating.
"Victoria Police is also now represented in the Green Triangle Safe Freight Network, which includes a group of heavy vehicle professionals and VicRoads.
"We are always trying to find new ways to reduce road trauma. It's not just about getting out there and enforcing the law, it's also about listening to the community, so if they want something done, we want to hear it.
"At the end of the day, it's everyone's responsibility. The question I ask the community is, what are you doing about it? This is not just a policing issue, it's everyone's issue."
Of this year's toll, 72 people died on country roads - 30 more than in 2018, and 24 were motorcyclists, which is nine higher than last year.
"These are really critical figures but there is a reality in what they are," Mr Leane said.
"Each of them have families and relatives that are affected and each of them have been visited by emergency services, police, ambulance, through to hospital staff that do their best to keep them alive as much as they can after these collisions.
"It affects lots of people, right through the community.
"Our police are out there doing lots and lots of shifts. TAC has given us extra funding to the end of June, so we can get those 300 extra shifts out. We're spending talking to motorcyclists, we're pulling them up, having a chat.
"But we can do more and more. Victoria police is committed and we will do everything we can to move this issue along as much as we can and to get the community to slow down wherever we can."
Mr Leane said the common causes of fatal car accidents were well known.
"Alcohol and drugs continue to be a problem. We know that people's lives would have been saved had they been wearing a seat belt or helmets on their motorbikes," he said.
"We know that distraction continues to be a problem, as does speed and the impact of fatigue particularly on country roads.
"Much of the solution is the hands of the driver at the steering wheel. Or on motorcyclists on their handle bars. The decisions we make as we drive will affect us, and as we found out on the Glenelg Highway, you can be at the right place at all the right times, but if someone pulls out and hasn't made the right decision, there is very little you can do and lives can be lost."
International Road Safety Week commenced on Monday. Mr Leane said it was important for the "whole word to try and take a moment to think about how we can save lives and prevent trauma on our roads".
He asked the community to join Victoria Police on Friday in turning on their headlights in respect to those who had lost their lives to road trauma.
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