Police come together to fight road toll

Police will have a highly visible presence in regional areas in an effort to fight rising road toll.
Police will have a highly visible presence in regional areas in an effort to fight rising road toll.

Police across Australia have agreed to a national day of action to combat the rising road toll.

Senior officers came together in Melbourne this week after a spike in road deaths in a number of states so far in 2019.

South Australian Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams, who chaired the meeting, said it was important police took a coordinated approach to the challenges on Australia's roads.

"In the interim, the community can expect to see a highly visible police presence in rural and regional settings, as well as a continued focus on alcohol and drug testing," she said.

Victorian Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam said it was clear from the discussions that the issues officers were facing were common across the country.

"A particular trend is the increasing trauma on our rural and regional roads, as well as the emergence of drug driving," she said.

As a direct result of the forum, all police jurisdictions have agreed to participate in the national day of action on August 27.

They will also look at ways to better share data and research, as well as the development of a coordinated communication approach for road policing messaging in the community.

Road deaths are up significantly in a number of states this year, with Victoria and SA the worst.

In Victoria, the toll stands at 164 compared to 104 at the same time in 2018.

While in SA there have been 62 deaths compared to 38 at the same time last year.

The toll is also higher in NSW and Western Australia but Queensland has bucked the trend with 107 deaths so far compared to 131 in 2018.

Australian Associated Press

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