VICTORIA looks set to record its lowest road toll ever.
With just a few hours to go in 2012, 278 people have died on Victorian roads this year, nine fewer fatalities than 2011, making 2012 the lowest road toll on record.
When records began in 1952, 600 people lost their lives on the roads, while the toll peaked in 1970 with 1061 deaths.
Acting Premier Peter Ryan said while it was an achievement to have significantly reduced the road toll, 278 people was equivalent to the population of many small towns in his Gippsland South electorate.
"I can't help but think that the concept of having one of those towns being absolutely wiped out in a year because of road deaths is something completely unacceptable for us in Victoria," Mr Ryan, who is also the Police and Emergency Services minister, told reporters.
"It is incumbent upon all of us as we conclude 2012, that we go into 2013 conducting ourselves appropriately, not only to our interests, but to the interests of other road users."
Mr Ryan said people were being killed and injured on the roads not because of accidents, but because of collisions where people made the wrong choices such as speeding and drink driving.
Police Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said police were concerned at the loss of lives on the roads and the serious injuries suffered by people.
He urged people to take care on the roads while celebrating New Year's Eve.
"I just want to throw out the challenge - don't be the last statistic for the 2012, look after yourself on the roads tonight," Assistant Commissioner Crisp said.