NEW Transport Accident Commission data shows serious road trauma injuries in the Wimmera increased at least four times the state-wide figure in the past two years.
Wimmera police however believe the TAC’s statistics are inflated, because the commission has a wider definition than Victoria Police of what constitutes a serious road trauma injury.
The TAC states a serious road trauma injury is when a person is admitted to hospital within seven days of an accident, while Victoria Police define it as when a person is admitted to a hospital ward.
TAC statistics show the number of acute hospital admissions in the Horsham police service area – which incorporates Horsham, West Wimmera and Hindmarsh municipalities – jumped by almost six times the Victorian figure, rising by 35 per cent in the 12 months to October 2011 compared with the previous 12-month period.
The Victorian figure increased by six per cent during that time.
Acute hospital admissions also more than doubled in the Horsham area from 2009 to 2011, with 18 admissions in 2009, 31 in 2010 and 42 last year.
The five-year average is 33 acute hospital admissions in the Horsham area.
Road fatalities in the Horsham area also increased, with three deaths in the 12 months to April 2010, four in the 12 months to April 2011 and seven in the 12 months to April this year.
TAC statistics also show serious road trauma injuries in the Northern Grampians police service area – which includes Northern Grampians, Ararat and Yarriambiack municipalities – rose by four times the state-wide figure, with a 24 per cent jump in the 12 months to October 2011 compared with the previous 12-month period.
Statistics show there were 29 acute hospital admissions in the Northern Grampians area in 2009 and again in 2010, increasing to 36 last year.
The five-year average is 37 admissions in the Northern Grampians area.
Road fatalities remained steady in the Northern Grampians area, with four deaths in the 12 months to April 2010, four in the 12 months to April 2011 and three in the 12 months to April this year.
Commission data shows serious road trauma injuries state-wide increased in the 21 to 25-year-old age group by 16 per cent in the 12 months to October 2011 from the previous 12-month period, and in the 60 to 69-year-old age group, which rose by 14 per cent during the same period.
Horsham Highway Patroller Sergeant Wayne Caddy said the two definitions were different.
“On the Victoria Police interpretation, we find we are down on serious injuries from collisions,” he said.
Victoria Police statistics for the Horsham area show there were 76 road trauma incidents which resulted in an injury in 2010, 76 in 2011 and 23 so far this year.
Sgt Caddy said a breakdown of injuries which police classified as serious was unavailable yesterday.
Ararat Leading Senior Constable Mark Stevens of Northern Grampians Highway Patrol said he had not noticed a big difference in the number of serious road trauma incidents, but there were at least five such incidents in the Northern Grampians area this year.
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