‘Thieves go on hol­i­day, too’

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - ByVANESSA BURGESS

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.”

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