A Corangamite councillor says a $250,000 funding announcement for a Great Ocean Road international driver campaign is not enough to address the urgency the crisis requires.
The $250,000 Great Ocean Road visiting drivers road safety education campaign announced on Tuesday will include signs promoting better awareness and advertisements in strategically located service centres, such as on buses and displays at Avalon Airport.
The project comes after years of campaigning about the rising number of crashes involving international drivers.
Cr Simon Illingworth, of Port Campbell, said he welcomed the state and federal government funding but it was "just a drop in the bucket".
"There are so many issues beyond an advertising campaign that need to be fixed," he said.
"A lot of these tourists choose to drive when they are practically non-drivers and an advertising campaign is not going to provide the skills for someone driving a motor vehicle who doesn't know how to.
"This money is certainly welcomed but it's nowhere near enough to address the issue. It's as simple as that.
"When you take the keys of a motor car, it's like loading a firearm. If you don't know how to handle it you shouldn't actually have it.
"I know there is a hell of a lot of very nervous locals all along our Great Ocean Road that are certain, as I am, that there is going to be a horrible accident and we really need a lot of things fixed, things that go well beyond a marketing campaign."
Cr Illingworth said non-drivers don't need to be educated, they needed to be discouraged from driving.
"There is no way known we can educate someone to drive a motor car, particularly when they're not used to our treacherous roads.
"There seems to be an idea that stopping those international drivers from getting behind the wheel will disrupt our tourism market but when our volunteer CFA members and SES members are going to some of these crashes, and having arms and legs amputated, I think some of these people that are putting the dollar ahead of people's lives, need to go out and actually have a look and see what the damage is that is being caused on the roads."
Polwarth MP Richard Riordan said he did not expect a $250,000 budget to create "huge reforming change" to the safety of the south-west touring route.
"We have an issue where we are actively encouraging people to drive on our roads, people who come from driving environments that are vastly different to ours," he said.
"We know signs and warnings don't makes a lot of differences. My call, as with some of my other country colleagues, is we need some sort of assessment.
"We make people take a test before going on a helicopter, we make people do things when they go bungee jumping, but for some reason we can give someone a $50,000 car, fill it full of people and have them drive it on the most dangerous road in Australia, without having to prove that they can drive.
"It just doesn't make sense. Yes there is no doubt, particularly at the western end of the Great Ocean Road, that we need more signs, more white line marking and better clarity around intersection, but quite frankly if the budget is for $250,000, I wouldn't expect huge reforming change to occur in terms of our road safety.
"There's a lot of work to be done to make the tourism trek much safer."
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said the Great Ocean Road had huge visitation from Asian visitors and that signage translated into their language would help ease some of the confusion on the roads.
"There is a huge rise in self-drive tourism from Asian countries and while we need to ensure they are safe on the roads, are abiding by Victorian laws and are not a risk to other motorists, we don't can't go too far, over regulate and kill what is becoming a golden goose for tourism," she said.
"I would like to see hire car companies take a greater responsibility when hiring out cars at airports to international drivers and I think there needs to be a minimum skill level international drivers should have to demonstrate.
"It's a serious issue that needs a robust approach, this is a start and we need to assess how this goes before taking further steps towards greater regulation."
The 12-month campaign is a partnership between the governments and Victoria Police, VicRoads, the Great Ocean Regional Tourism Board and the major car rental companies.
It was announced as part of the Geelong City Deal on Tuesday, where Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said $370 million would be injected into Geelong and the broader Great Ocean Road region - with $108.15 million being funnelled into the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.
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