South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says the dangerous and dilapidated roads across the region need to be upgraded to help curb the shocking road toll.
Ms Britnell, the opposition spokeswoman for regional roads, attended the first state government road safety forum in Ballarat on Wednesday evening.
"Deaths on country roads are greater this year than last year by 80 per cent," she said.
"No-one disagrees distraction, drugs, alcohol are to be addressed and are factors in deaths on country roads.
"What's not being said is that the roads are also to blame. The roads minister herself (MP Jaala Pulford) admits this is two per cent. That is two per cent too many."
She said Ms Pulford's introduction at the forum did not mention the condition of the roads.
"But the people (at the forum) certainly mentioned it," Ms Britnell said.
"They also mentioned behaviour changes, attitudes, the drugs, alcohol and distraction. No-one denies they are factors.
"What we are saying is please concentrate on the conditions of country roads as well."
Ms Britnell said she would spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday touring her electorate to gain signatures for her petition calling on the state government to match the federal government's $140 million cash boost to upgrade regional roads.
"This is very important," she said.
"We are going to send a message to the minister that we want our roads fixed. I'm going to be in Macarthur, Portland, and Heywood on Thursday and in Koroit, Woolsthorpe and Port Fairy on Friday and Saturday. Please come out, join with me and let's send a really strong message to the minister."
She said people had been attending her Warrnambool office "in droves" to sign the petition.
They are also able to be signed at The Standard, Woolworths and other south-west businesses.
At the forum Ms Pulford argued that blaming road conditions alone was a distraction from the many causes, especially human error that must be the focus of a comprehensive road safety solution.
Ms Pulford said each crash was unique with varying known contributing factors such as speed, alcohol, drugs, fatigue and distraction.
She said it was important to understand that road conditions were a factor in only two per cent of fatality crashes so the focus needed to be on changing driver behaviour.
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"Whilst road condition is a factor in a very small proportion of these accidents and we need to do everything we can to make roads as safe as we can - which is why we are installing all of those barriers and are upgrading hundreds of intersections - speed, drugs and alcohol, fatigue and distraction are the things that are killing people in unacceptably large numbers."
The eight Towards Zero Regional Road Safety Forums are the result of an emergency summit about road safety hosted in Melbourne earlier this year and are intended to give regional communities a voice into what they think should be part of Victoria's next road safety strategy.
Of the 162 deaths which have occurred on Victorian roads so far this year, 97 have occurred on regional roads. The total number of deaths on the state's roads is up a shocking 55.8 per cent from last year's figures.
Transport Accident Commission (TAC) statistics from earlier this year revealed that the majority of drivers killed on regional roads were locals driving within 30 kilometres of their homes.
Ms Pulford said the focus of the forums would be around trying to understand why the road toll was so high this year, despite a record low last year.
"We take every opportunity to understand as well as we possibly can why it is different this year. We are comparing [the statistics] to last year - an unusually good year on our roads and the lowest since record keeping began.
"Over 50 years we've reduced the number of lives lost on Victorian roads by 80 per cent. We now have four times as many vehicles and twice the population so it is a great achievement we can all be proud of but this year ... the loss of lives on our roads is above average. I think the entire community is deeply troubled by this."
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