Stay safe on the roads

AS Latrobe Valley residents take to the roads for the Easter holiday, Victoria Police have again called for drivers to stay safe on the roads and take responsibility for their driving.

Division Five Traffic Advisor Senior Sergeant David Watson reminded road users to be cautious given the heavier traffic conditions, and to be patient towards those towing caravans and boats.

“As part of a statewide program effective midnight on Wednesday, Operation Crossroads, we will be out in force on local highways and secondary roads,” Snr Sgt Watson said.

“We’ll be looking for people speeding, conducting preliminary breath tests, and looking at the usual safety offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt or talking on a mobile phone while driving.”

He also reminded road users to drive to the conditions, and to maintain a safe distance between vehicles.

“For those driving for long periods, take a break every two hours if you get the chance,” he said.

The State Emergency Services will run the Driver Reviver campaign, which provides a safe stop for drivers to rest, have a free hot drink, change drivers or take a power nap.

According to Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan, 17 per cent of fatal car accidents and a major cause of crashes in the state were the result of fatigue.

Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay on Monday launched a three-month road enforcement campaign, “We are the toll”.

VicPol is predicting 2012’s final road toll may be up to 40 deaths higher than to last year’s.

“This campaign is about saying road victims are not just an anonymous name in the paper – they are our neighbours, they are our family, they are police – we are the toll,” Mr Lay said in a statement.

Latrobe has four reported fatalities on the road to date.

At 4 April, the statewide road toll was 84, compared to 73 this time last year.