EMERGENCY services are pleading with motorists to take it easy on the roads this long weekend.
An influx of tourists are expected to flood Echuca-Moama, while many locals will head off for a three-day weekend, prompting police to warn motorists of the dangers of impaired driving.
Members from Campaspe Highway Patrol and general duties will be out in force as part of Operation Regal, which will focus on the ‘Fatal 5’.
‘‘We want all road users to buckle up, stay alert on our roads, keep to the speed limit and not to drive if you’ve had a few drinks or are too tired,’’ Sergeant Paul Nicoll of Campaspe Highway Patrol said.
To ensure people are not driving tired, the SES is urging motorists to take advantage of the TOLL Driver Reviver sites.
The north-west region had 230 road crash rescues in the past year, and almost 30 per cent of severe single vehicle crashes in rural areas involve drivers being fatigued.
Echuca SES unit acting controller Matt Edgley urged motorists to ensure they were well rested before their journey, plan regular breaks and pull over if they felt drowsy.
Driver Reviver sites will operate at various locations over the long weekend, including Lockington, at the CFA building in Lions Apex Park, cnr Lockington and Pannoo roads.
‘‘The Driver Reviver sites are well used, particularly over the Easter break, we now get regulars who stop and say hi to VICSES volunteers and take a break,’’ Mr Edgley said.
The TAC is also reminding drivers to:
■plan a break at least every two hours;
■consider swapping drivers;
■pull over for a 15-minute powernap;
■avoid driving at times when you would usually be sleeping;
■aim to get enough quality sleep before driving – regardless of whether the trip is a long or short one; and
■a healthy adult needs on average between 7-9 hours of sleep to function properly.
Driver reviver locations can be found at https://www.ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/driver-reviver