Be prepared on the roads this winter
THE Transport Accident Commission is urging Victorian motorists to plan ahead, eliminate distractions and ensure their vehicles are safe when driving in and around the snow this ski season.
Another bumper season is underway at the state’s popular resorts, including Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek, with people travelling from across Victoria and interstate to hit the slopes.
TAC chief executive officer Joe Calafiore said motorists should take into account several factors to ensure a safe journey including weather, road conditions, fatigue, distractions and their behaviour.
“Victoria’s snow fields are among Australia’s great drawcards and they attract huge numbers of visitors from far and wide each year,” Mr Calafiore said.
“We are urging everyone travelling in and around the alpine region, or making the journey home, to plan ahead and allow enough time, get plenty of sleep the night before, and take rest stops along the way.”
Four people have died on roads surrounding Victoria’s alps in the past five ski seasons, and Mr Calafiore implored motorists to take every precaution to ensure the figure was zero this year.
“Wintry weather only magnifies the dangers of driving and people should be aware that conditions can change quickly, particularly in and around the mountains,” Mr Calafiore said.
“When weather or road conditions are poor, it becomes even more important to slow down, stay alert, drive to the conditions and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.
“It is important to concentrate and that means eliminating distractions – put your phone away.”
Black ice, fog, mist, rain, wind and land slips are all potential hazards during winter months on roads in alpine areas.
Mr Calafiore said people could prevent a tragedy by ensuring both they and their vehicles were prepared for unpredictable conditions.
“You must ensure that you have the correct tyres, chained if necessary, and they are in good condition, along with your brakes, and ensure all lights are working so they can be switched on in low visibility,” he said.
“We want everyone to travel to the mountains and get home safely and the choices people make and condition of their vehicles will go a long way towards a safe ski season on our roads.”
◆ SAFETY FIRST: TAC chief executive officer Joe Calafiore said motorists should take into account several factors to ensure a safe journey including weather, road conditions, fatigue, distractions and their behaviour.
◆ TAKE CARE, PLAN AHEAD: TAC Chief Executive Officer Joe Calafiore.