Victorian drivers are being urged to slow down and adapt to changing conditions, with the onset of winter and the approaching long weekend increasing risk levels on the state’s roads.
Minister for Roads, Road Safety and TAC Jaala Pulford today joined representatives from the Transport Accident Commission and VicRoads to call on Victorian motorists to be safe on the roads this winter.
Sadly, 140 people have already lost their lives on Victorian roads this year, compared with 88 at the same time in 2018. Last year, 45 people died during winter, compared with 61 in 2017.
Wintry conditions magnify the dangers of driving, particularly on country Victorian roads, with black ice, fog, mist, rain, wind and land slips all potential hazards. Motorists are being urged to slow down and drive to the conditions, plan their journeys well in advance, and make safe decisions including; avoiding fatigue, avoiding drink and drug driving and avoiding distractions.
The plea comes ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, with many Victorians expected to head to the mountains to kick off the snow season. People traveling in and around the alpine region, or making the journey home, should plan ahead and allow plenty of time to get to their destination safely.
This winter ensure your tyres are in good condition, you get plenty of rest before your journey, brake gently, turn your lights on, even during the day and reduce your speed in fog, mist or slippery conditions.
The Andrews Labor Government has also acted to ensure motorcycles will continue to be able to share the bus lane on Hoddle Street following a trial evaluating mobility benefits and safety.
After assessing the outcomes of the trial, the Government has announced the Hoddle Street motorcycle in bus lane trial will become permanent, improving traffic flow for motorcycles and other road users. The trial involved allowing motorcyclists to use the bus lane on Hoddle Street between the Eastern Freeway and Victoria Parade, benefitting more than 200 motorcyclists a day.
Additional signage has been installed to warn drivers, buses and other road users that motorcyclists are using the bus lanes and new traffic signals have been installed. Hoddle Street was identified as the most appropriate site for the trial due to the number of road users, the length of the bus lane and congestion during peak hour.
The Government is also planning to introduce a new bus lane trial along Victoria Parade and part of the Eastern Freeway with a start date to be announced in the coming weeks.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford
“It has been a heartbreaking year on our roads and with winter upon us and a busy weekend coming up, we really need all Victorian road users to take extra care and look out for each other.”
“We’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways to ease congestion and this trial has found significant benefits for all road users without comprising safety.”
“Motorcyclists have been calling for this trial to be made permanent and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”