DEATHS on local roads have more than doubled in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
Statistics from Victoria Police State Highway Patrol reveal there have been nine fatal collisions in division two of the southern metro region, which encompasses Moorabbin, Glen Eira, Bayside and Kingston.
The figure is up by five compared with the same period from January to July 24 last year.
Victoria Police State Highway Patrol Inspector David Griffin said the region had the state’s greatest year-to-date increase in fatalities.
Senior Sergeant Hans Harms of Moorabbin Highway Patrol said it was important to encourage sensible driver behaviour. “I think drivers have a lot more distractions now such as mobile phones and GPS,” he said.
“There are more motorbikes and cyclists on Beach Road and also a lot of older drivers. There are also pedestrians and they need to be really aware of the perception of speed when they are crossing roads.”
Mr Harms said the freeways and highways were the main hotspots for fatalities. “Drivers have to realise that driving is a privilege and not a right,” he said.
High-risk road trauma hotspots will become the focus of the State Highway Patrol’s Super Ardent operation during the next five weeks.
Mr Griffin said: “We’ll focus on things we know contribute to death; speeding, inappropriate speeds for conditions, drink and drug driving and distracted driving.”