Beverley McArthur MP
Member for Western Victoria Region
INTERNATIONAL DRIVER SAFETY ON VICTORIAN ROADS'
In Parliament this week, Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur twice called on the Minister for Roads to “take responsibility for the unsafe driver conditions largely caused by unskilled international drivers on the Great Ocean Road.”
Bev McArthur requested the Minister for Roads either take responsibility for this life threatening matter or hold car hire companies responsible for the ‘lethal weapons’ they are hiring to totally inexperienced drivers.
“VicRoads reports that currently, international drivers comprise 21% of crashes along the Great Ocean Road. This figure would obviously be much higher if all accidents were recorded, let alone near misses and not just those involving ambulances.”
International tourists arriving in Victoria, often hire a car or fill a minibus. They proceed to drive down the Great Ocean Road with little or no knowledge of Australian road rules or even basic driving skills. It is reported that many of the crashes are caused by drivers driving on the wrong side of the road, despite multiple signs directing drivers to ‘keep left’.
Mrs McArthur attended a community meeting in Apollo Bay where firsthand emotional testimonies were heard from constituents affected by this threat on a daily basis. A bus driver who witnesses up to four near-miss crashes every trip between Geelong to Apollo Bay said that ‘it’s like playing Russian roulette every day when I go to work’ and blames the hire companies for ‘lending people these missiles’.
The Great Ocean Road is visited by about 5 million tourists per year, more than Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef combined and “while we do not want to halt or reduce the volume of tourists, we must also ensure our roads are safe for everyone.”
21 February 2019