Plea to plan ahead and arrive alive

Road safety authorities are urging motorists travelling in and around Gippsland this Christmas and new year to drive safely and plan ahead to ensure they arrive alive at their destination.

“Nearly two thirds of all people killed on Victoria’s rural and regional roads are local residents”, VicRoads regional director Scott Lawrence said.

“It’s up to all of us to drive safely over the holidays and make sure we are present to spend Christmas with our loved ones.

“Whether you are just driving up the road to visit relatives, holidaying at the Gippsland Lakes or Ninety Mile Beach hotspots, or even going all the way across the border, we need everyone to travel safely.”

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said there was a tragic spike in deaths at this time last year.

“From this day last year through to Christmas Day we sadly saw 10 people killed across the state,” he said.

“This time of year is meant for celebration and spending time with loved ones, it’s not the time of year to be organising a funeral or visiting the emergency department.”

Victoria Police is running multiple road safety operations across the state over the summer period targeting drink and drug driving, speeding and, distractions and seatbelt offences.

Manage fatigue

Have a good night’s sleep before you drive. An average healthy adult needs between seven and nine hours to function properly.

Take breaks at least every two hours during your journey.

If you feel tired, pull over and take a 15-minute powernap to re-energise.

Avoid drink driving

If you plan to drink, plan not to drive.

Arrange alternate transport. Plan to take a taxi, public transport or nominate a designated driver.

Slow down and avoid speeding

Always drive to the conditions.

Allow extra time to arrive at your destination so you don’t feel under pressure to rush.

Prevent distractions

Don’t use a mobile phone while driving.

Any activity that diverts someone’s attention while on the road is a potential source of distraction – that includes using a mobile phone, GPS or MP3 player, or eating or talking to others.