LOCAL motorists have been warned against complacency despite recent road safety statistics showing a fall in fatalities and a downward trend in injury data across the region.
Transport Accident Commission statistical summaries released last week showed, in the 12 months to September 2013, seven people lost their lives on Latrobe Valley roads, two less than in the year prior.
In 2011 however, there were two fatalities recorded in the Latrobe Police Service Area.
Significantly, the figures showed a steady decline in the number of TAC claims involving an acute hospital admission in the 12 months to March 2013.
In 2011 there were 73 claims recorded, in 2012 that figure had dropped to 67 and in 2013 it was lower again at 57.
Further figures detail claims involving acute hospitalisations over 14 days, indicating more serious injury.
They also showed a steady decrease, down from 17 in 2011 to 19 in 2012 and 12 this year.
Latrobe PSA road fatality figures were marginally lower than Baw Baw’s but higher than those in Wellington, East Gippsland and Bass Coast.
Acute hospital admission figures, however, were higher in all of those regions than in Latrobe although Latrobe had a higher number of serious injuries, requiring hospitalisations of more than 14 days, than all other regions except Bass Coast.
Statewide, serious injury data showed of the 853 claims involving acute hospitalisation over 14 days, 549 were recorded in Melbourne and 297 in rural Victoria. Of those seriously injured, 340 were drivers, 129 passengers, 133 motorcyclists, 163 pedestrians, 33 cyclists and six were hit by trains or trams.
Males accounted for 496 of those claims and females for 356 and the age group most affected was those aged over 70 years.
In Victoria, as at midnight on 23 October, road accident fatalities across Victoria were down 19 per cent compared with the same time last year.
TAC chief executive Janet Dore said, however, with 108 lives lost on regional Victorian roads this year, and 74 in Melbourne, it was important to remember there were 182 families grieving for a loved one.
She said the latest statistics showed Victorians using regional roads, in particular, needed to take care.