Minister for Police Lisa Neville today opened the Towards Zero Road Safety Conference 2017 bringing together Victoria’s Highway Patrol workforce to focus on improving safety on our roads and reducing road trauma.

In Victoria someone is killed or suffers serious injuries as a result of road trauma every two hours. It is this harm that has led to the Towards Zero Road Safety strategy and will be the focus of the conference.

The Andrews Labor Government has committed $1.1 billion over five years for the Towards Zero Strategy, which seeks to deliver safer roads, safer drivers and safer vehicles.

One of the key factors in keeping people safe on our roads is the age and safety features of a car. Today Ms Neville and Victoria Police revealed the second generation Guardian Highway Patrol vehicle which will again be used to highlight to the community the importance of safety features.

The Mercedes Benz E43 AMG is a semi-autonomous vehicle with improved safety features including attention-assist driver-fatigue detection system, active bonnet pedestrian safety and 360-degree surround view camera.

The new model will replace the GLE63, which was used as an operational Highway Patrol vehicle across all policing divisions while on loan for 12 months. The Guardian was displayed at more than 50 community events, giving Highway Patrol officers the chance to promote the importance of modern motor vehicle safety features.

One of the other key factors in reducing harm on our roads is getting dangerous drivers off the road.

The Labor Government has provided additional funding for more drug testing of drivers which will see 100,000 drug tests conducted on our roads.

In addition the Labor Government has provided funding for every Highway Patrol car to be fitted with auto number plate recognition technology to ensure those people who are unlicensed, have interlock requirements, and those with unregistered cars are captured and taken off the road.

The Labor Government is also investing $380 million to improve the state’s highest-risk roads, $340 million towards safety infrastructure improvements on rural and regional roads and $146 million to implement the Young Driver Safety Package.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“It’s unacceptable that 291 people lost their lives on Victorian roads last year and that thousands more suffered life-changing injuries.”

“There have already been 48 deaths across the state so far this year, and that’s 48 too many.”

“The new Guardian gives police a high-profile tool to help make our roads safer and to promote the benefits of purchasing cars with modern safety features.”