Victorian authorities emphasise importance of road safety ahead of busy Christmas period

The Victorian police force has emphasised the importance of safe driving during the busy summer months, warning motorists that any dangerous behaviour on the roads will not be tolerated this Christmas.

Speaking at the launch of the Summer Stay road safety campaign on Friday (November 16), deputy premier and minister for police and emergency services Peter Ryan stressed that drivers would need to take more responsibility for their actions in order to keep themselves and others safe on the roads in the coming weeks.

"While police across the state will be working to save lives on our roads, it is important that motorists take responsibility for their actions by obeying the road rules, being respectful of fellow road users and traveling safely," said Mr Ryan.

"The Summer Stay campaign will involve four police operations that will particularly target issues that impact the road toll such as alcohol, drugs, fatigue, speed and distraction."

Mr Ryan went on to note that nearly 250 people had already lost their life on Victorian roads during 2012, with the number of serious injuries being far greater.

If you are a fleet manager looking to ensure that your drivers have a safe and happy Christmas, it may be worthwhile to remind them of a few important road safety behavioural tips.

For example, by simply reducing their speed slightly, drivers can work to ensure a safer driving environment for everyone on the roads whilst also reducing fuel consumption as well - a win-win situation.

As part of the new safety campaign, a special Christmas tree will be set up in Victoria Police headquarters which will feature an ornament for each of the 247 people that have been killed on Victorian roads this year.

An additional ornament will be added each time another person loses their life driving in the build up towards Christmas, with Mr Ryan hoping that the tree will serve as a "sombre reminder" to Victorian drivers to take care behind the wheel. 

"Each tragic loss has a profound and devastating impact on families, friends and communities and preventing this sort of trauma is something we all must work to address," said Mr Ryan.