General Portfolio Press Releases

19
Jul

Mini-Vanessa heads to the snow for the weekend

General Portfolio Press Releases
Mini-Vanessa heads to the snow for the weekend
The Transport Accident Commission’s (TAC) Mini-Vanessa van is heading to Mt Buller to keep skiers and snowboarders alert on the roads after a long day in the snow, Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said today.

The bright orange van named Mini-Vanessa will be stationed at Mt Buller over the coming three weekends, offering drivers coffee and free giveaways on their journey to the snow.

“Fatigue still contributes to more than 20 per cent of fatal crashes on Victorian roads, and during the snow season, many people wake up very early to head up to the slopes and often have a long drive home that evening,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“Weather and road conditions can change quickly in alpine areas, and with more snow expected to fall this coming weekend it is important that drivers stay alert.

“This, along with being worn out from snowboarding or skiing for a day, can contribute significantly to fatigue, meaning planning for a safe drive home is even more important.”

TAC Chief Executive Officer Janet Dore said roads can often be more slippery in alpine country during winter due to wetter conditions, increasing the need for driver and rider caution.

“We encourage everyone heading to Mt Buller during the next three weekends to stop and visit Mini-Vanessa, have a cuppa and chat to our friendly staff,” Ms Dore said.

“Last year, around 8,000 people stopped to visit Mini-Vanessa and this year we are also giving snow enthusiasts the chance to win slope passes on Mt Buller over the next three weekends.”

Skiers and snowboarders can enter to win through the Vanessa Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ilikevanessa

The Vanessa fleet consists of one big bus, one van (Mini-Vanessa) and one brand new Ford Ranger Ute (Beaut Ute). Mini Vanessa is aimed at engaging and educating young road users aged 18-25 who account for around a quarter of Victoria's road fatalities.

Mini Vanessa is staffed with young people who accompany her to events and ensure a peer to peer communication of road safety messages. Peer to peer communication has proven extremely effective in reaching out to young people.

The TAC advises drivers to avoid feeling fatigued behind the wheel by:
· sharing the driving when possible;
· scheduling regular refresher stops – using Driver Reviver sites where available to take regular breaks;
· ensuring good quality sleep prior to a long drive;
· not driving at times when you would ordinarily be sleeping;
· never drinking alcohol before or during long trips; and
· planning trips in advance.

Keeping Victorians safe on regional roads is a key action in the Victorian Coalition Government’s 10 Year Road Safety Strategy. To find out more visit: www.roadsafety.vic.gov.au
Source: Gordon Rich-Phillips - Assistant Treasurer

Media contact: Justine Sywak 0448 448 487 justine.sywak@minstaff.vic.gov.au
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