‘Thieves go on holiday, too’
THE snow season officially opens this weekend and Bright police are encouraging all visitors to alpine resorts to follow some simple road safety and snow advice to ensure they have a safe and happy break in the snow.
Bright police Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll said the opening of the snow season signalled all motorists needed to carry appropriate tyre chains when heading up the mountain.
“The Queen’s Birthday weekend signals the opening of the season at Mt Hotham and Falls Creek, and motorists need to make sure they are carrying chains when heading up the mountains, even if the weather is clear,” he said.
“Motorists are required to carry chains until the snow season officially ends i n the first week of October, and if they are caught not carrying chains they will be fined.”
The weather can change in an i nstant i n the alpine areas and Snr Sgt Incoll said drivers should be prepared and drive appropriately.
“Planning and preparation is vital when you are travelling up a mountain, the roads can become very dangerous, and visibility can become very poor, so we are urging all drivers to drive to the conditions,” he said.
“Drivers should also make sure they put anti-freeze i n their radiators if they are driving petrol cars and use alpine diesel for diesel cars.
“All snow should be removed from the vehicle before heading down the mountains as well as it can become a hazard for other motorists when it slides off the car roof and bonnet.
“Entering corners at the appropriate speed is a must and letting drivers heading up the mountain have right of way is common courtesy when travelling on mountain roads.”
Snr Sgt Incoll also said resort visitors should not leave any valuables i n cars and make sure all snow gear is labelled.
“Thieves go on holidays as well, so please don’t l eave any laptops, GPS units or mobile phones in your cars,” he said.
“Skiers should also make sure they split their skis up if they are taking a break and make sure they put some form of i dentifying mark on their equipment, from snowboards to jackets.
“Licence numbers are a good way to i dentify someone’s belongings, and we can make sure that we can get their stuff back to them.”
Mobile phones and wallets are often handed into police, and Sgt Incoll said skier and snowboarders should make sure they store them i n a zipped pocket if taking them out onto the slopes.
“You’d be surprised by the amount of mobile phones and wallets that get handed into police,” he said. “
They fall out of pockets quite easily so if you have to take them onto the slopes with you, make sure they’re in a secure place, preferable somewhere with a zip.
“People should also tape a different contact number onto the phone in case they lose it, because if they get handed i n we have no i dea who to contact and we end up having to smash perfectly good phones at the end of the season due to privacy laws.”
The Queen’s Birthday long weekend is always a cause for celebration within alpine resorts and Snr Sgt Incoll is urging all party goers to party safe during the season.
“People come up and there’s a real holiday atmosphere and while we want people to enjoy themselves we want them to do it safely,” he said.
“Drink within your limits and please don’t take drugs, because drugs, skiing and altitude don’t mix – we had three searches within the Mt Hotham resort l ast year for alcohol affected people.
“They were very lucky, but it also takes a lot of resources to go out on an intensive search in dangerous environments, and people need to remember, half-an-hour can mean the difference between life and death up in the alps.”