Woman hit twice by cars backs police road safety blitz

·2-min read
Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS

Mother-of-two Antoinetta Tartaro was only 15 when she was first struck by a car after it ran a red light in suburban Melbourne nearly 30 years ago.

Then in 2019, her life was again turned upside down when a driver in mounted the footpath and hit her from behind, throwing her several metres in the air.

After sustaining potential life-long injuries from the collisions, including a mild traumatic brain injury, Ms Tartaro is urging Victorian road users to be more alert.

She said the first incident still affects her and has reduced her overall quality of life.

"I have taken that trauma right through to adulthood," Ms Tartaro told reporters on Thursday.

"The trauma doesn't stop with the person that is being hit … (it) goes on, the injuries go on. It is a ripple effect."

Once a high performer, Ms Tartaro is now a shadow of herself and can no longer work a five-day week.

The former counsellor applauded a new police road safety campaign aimed at preventing death and serious injuries among Victorian road users.

A total of 121 people have been killed on Victoria's roads so far in 2023, including five cyclists, seven pedestrians and 17 motorcyclists.

Operation Halo will run for five months across the Melbourne, Yarra, Port Phillip and Merri-Bek council areas, working with pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and e-scooter riders to tackle problematic behaviour the vulnerable road users at risk.

This includes vehicles blocking bike lanes and pedestrian crossings as well as distraction offences, speed and impaired driving.

Police will do foot patrols at high-risk intersections and be on the lookout for any behaviour which puts vulnerable road users at risk.

They will also do roadworthy checks for issues like defective brakes, bald tyres and illegal window tint which can make it difficult for a driver to see pedestrians and riders.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said pedestrians were some of the most vulnerable road users.

"Pedestrians are really at risk because you might be walking along doing the right thing and minding your own business … and for reasons completely out of your control you become a victim of road trauma," he said.

Victoria Walks, Bicycle Network Victoria and the Amy Gillett Foundation are also supporting the initiative.

There were about 1500 collisions where a pedestrian was injured last year and about 1200 involving cyclists.

"Too many vulnerable road users are being killed or seriously injured and it's all too preventable," Mr Weir said.



Death: 9

Injury: 419


Death: 2

Injury: 489

Source: Victoria Police

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