Too many young people are dying on Warrnambool roads, says the chief executive of Victoria's Fit to Drive foundation.
Debbie Collings said young people aged 13 to 25 made up 42 per cent of all reported crashes in Warrnambool between 2013 and 2017.
Of those crashes 28 young people died or sustained a life-altering injury.
"The statistics are horrendous and they're not lowering," Ms Collings said.
"Warrnambool has had a particularly bad year - almost double the national standard. And when a young person dies or is seriously injured in a road accident it rocks the whole community, particularly in small communities. Even if you don't know them personally, you will likely know someone who does."
There have been 10 road deaths in the south-west this year, compared with nine for all of 2018.
Ms Collings said the statistics didn't include those who sustained serious life-changing injuries.
"Often as a community, when someone dies in a crash we think about how horrendous that is for that family and for that person. But we don't necessarily think about the long-term effects of those seriously injured," she said.
"You may have a young and independent person looking forward to their whole life who after a car crash might suddenly need the assistance of somebody else for the rest of their life."
Ms Collings has been the chief executive of the Fit to Drive foundation for the past four years.
The foundation is a state-wide not-for-profit organisation that has delivered road safety messages to students since its inception in 2002.
In response to the spike in Warrnambool's road toll, the foundation, the TAC and the South Warrnambool Football Netball Club are holding a free community road safety forum.
Ms Collings said young road users and their support person, such as a parent or carer, were invited to the forum at Friendly Societies' Park on July 16.
"The forum is an opportunity for young people and their support person to explore the theory behind risk taking behaviour, and to work together to create a safer road use plan," she said.
"The conversations that occur and the commitments made at the forums are important in creating an environment where we are all working together toward achieving our aim of zero deaths and serious injuries on roads across Victoria".
Ms Collings said the forums had been held all over the state and had received an "overwhelmingly positive" response.
"The parents thank us for starting the conversation and the young people are always very interested," she said.
"The main purpose is about getting the conversation about road safety between parents and their children started in an informed way, rather than in an informal setting at home.
"And from there it's about putting together some really safe strategies for each of the young people to ensure they will always get home safe."
The smarter moves community road safety forum will run from 6pm to 8.30pm.
The free event is supported by South Warrnambool Football Netball Club and open to the wider community.
Dinner will be provided. To RSVP, click here.
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