More than 200 presents that will never be gifted appeared under a mournful Christmas tree in Melbourne’s CBD today as a stark reminder of the Victorian 2013 road toll.
The white-washed gifts represent the 209 lives which have been lost this year on Victoria’s roads, and the gifts family members will never be able to hand to their loved ones.
Part of the Victorian Transport Accident Commissions (TAC) Christmas road-safety campaign, the ‘Ungiven Gifts’ installation, created by Grey, will be in the State Library forecourt until Wednesday (November 27).
Visitors to the installation can leave a commitment to safe driving or a tribute to a loved one on the Christmas tree or on Facebook.
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips, who launched the installation this morning, said: “The sad reality is that many gifts will go ungiven this year. Behind each of these gifts is a heartbreaking story of a life lost and of loved ones for whom Christmas will never be the same.”
“Our hearts go out to everyone who will go through this Festive Season dealing with grief due to the road toll. We hope this installation reminds all in the community of the importance of being safe on the roads.”
Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder, said that while the current death toll (at the time of writing) is 43 less than at the same time last year we “cannot afford to be complacent”.