THE Transport Accident Commission released statistics last week which revealed a six per cent rise state-wide in serious road trauma injuries in the 12 months to October 2011, compared with the previous year.

The figure across the Wimmera was higher.

There was a 35 per cent increase in the Horsham Police Service Area, incorporating Horsham Rural City, West Wimmera Shire and Hindmarsh Shire.

There was also a 24 per cent increase in the Northern Grampians Police Service Area, incorporating Northern Grampians Shire, Ararat Rural City and Yarriambiack Shire.

The TAC defi nes a serious road injury as a Transport Accident Commission claim involving an acute hospital admission, meaning a patient was admitted to hospital within seven days of the incident.

Victoria Police defi nes a serious road injury as one where a road trauma victim is admitted to a hospital ward.

Wimmera police explained the two defi nitions were different and the Victoria Police interpretation showed fewer serious road injuries.

But no matter how one defines a serious road injury, the statistics are still a warning for all road users to be careful about road safety.

Ararat Leading Senior Constable Mark Stevens of Northern Grampians Highway Patrol warned road users to be aware of the weather, because he thought a lot of people were not driving according to changed road conditions.

I noticed a couple of road users whose behaviour was concerning in the past week.

One was a cyclist in Horsham at dusk in black clothing without lights and without reflective gear.

Another was a car on the Wimmera Highway which zig-zagged from side to side in its laneway and kept on slowing down then speeding up, before it zoomed off into the distance.

Either road user could have become a statistic.

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