The Transport Accident Commission is urging Victorian motorists to take a break and drive to the conditions this Labour Day long weekend, as it steps up its efforts to fight fatigue-related crashes.
Last year, four people died on Victorian roads during the traditionally busy three-day period.
The TAC is encouraging drivers to stop during long road trips and recharge at SES rest stops scattered across the state, which will operate throughout the long weekend.
Around 20 SES rest stops will operate in Victoria, with the TAC setting up Pit Stop sites at four of the busiest locations, offering free barista coffees, sausage sizzles, prizes and fun family activities.
TAC road safety lead director Samantha Cockfield said breaking up a road trip for a rest, or to swap drivers, could be a life-saving choice.
‘‘It’s a sad reality that four people didn’t make it to their destination in Victoria on the Labour Day long weekend last year,’’ Ms Cockfield said.
‘‘We can’t accept that higher traffic volumes and longer distances travelled results in more devastation on our roads.’’
Ms Cockfield said fatigue and speed were two of the major contributors to crashes during busy periods.
‘‘There will be more traffic on the road with people travelling to and from holiday destinations and visiting loved ones,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re imploring motorists to rest up the night before and allow plenty of time to get to their destinations.
‘‘On a long road trip you should factor in a rest stop every two hours to swap drivers or recharge — if you’re feeling fatigued, you start to lose focus but you can avoid a tragedy if you take a break.’’
TAC Pit Stops will operate at Balmattum and Wedderburn on Friday, and Bacchus Marsh, Marong and Balmattum on Monday.
Motorists who stop at TAC Pit Stops can also learn more about flexible safety barriers being rolled out on Victorian high-risk regional roads and the role they play in reducing serious injuries and death.
For details about the TAC’s Pit Stops and tips for a safe road trip, visit www.towardszero.vic.gov.au/news/articles/driver-reviver-pit-stop