South-west police have a sharp focus on reducing the road toll this month after four lives were lost in the region in June last year.
Already this year an 18-year-old Irish national has been killed in a two-car collision on the outskirts of Cobden in the early morning of Sunday, June 5.
A court this week heard that collision happened after farewell drinks for an Irishman who was to fly home later that day.
South-west police road safety adviser Senior Sergeant Matt Wheeler said four fatalities in the region last June was a tragic outcome.
He said the ripple impact of those deaths was still being felt in the community and police were doing everything possible to avoid a similar outcome.
"We need community support and that involves every driver on the roads," he said.
"We are working really hard, but we need drivers to slow down and drive to the conditions, especially in the wet when visibility and road conditions become even greater factors."
The deaths last June included a 20-year-old woman driver washed off a bridge near Glenfyne after heavy rain, an older woman pedestrian in Warrnambool's Banyan Street on nightfall, a middle-aged motorcycle in a single vehicle collision at Cashmore in the Portland region and a single-vehicle crash which led to the death of a woman at Bolwarra, north of Portland.
Statewide, police have issuing a critical road safety alert as Victorians enter an especially high-risk period for road trauma.
Eighteen lives were lost in just two weeks at the same time last year and police are concerned about a repeat, especially as winter weather reduces visibility and creates hazardous driving conditions.
The alert comes as four lives were lost on Victorian roads in the last 24 hours, with fatal collisions in Geelong, Buxton, Thornhill Park and Bundoora.
That brings the state's total lives lost to 113 - 18 higher than the same time last year.
Distraction and speed were last year cited as the most common underlying factors in fatal crashes during the period of concern, spanning from June 19 to July 4.
Speed was a contributor in a third of the collisions, with vehicles failing to negotiate the road at speed and collisions with other vehicles at speed the most common factors.
A quarter of fatalities involved pedestrians, with poor visibility the major contributor.
Collisions between motor vehicles and motorcycles resulted in three fatalities during the period.
Distraction and fatigue were also suspected in several of the fatalities, with some drivers drifting on to the wrong side of the road and colliding with trees or other vehicles.
Assistant Commissioner road policing Glenn Weir said police were determined to avoid a repeat of concerning road trauma trends and urged motorists to take extra care.
"Now is not the time to be complacent when getting behind the wheel," he said.
"Slowing down, remaining alert and being extra cautious when roads are wet or visibility is affected are simple, but life-saving measures all motorists can take to protect themselves and other road users.
"Police will remain highly visible and on the lookout for any risky driver behaviour. We are determined to do everything we can to ensure this period does not become synonymous with road trauma," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.