Play it safe on the road

Victoria’s RACV is urging everyone to keep safety and the road rules in mind this festive season.

In Victoria this year, a total of 287 lives have been lost on the roads, up 23.2 per cent on last year (as at midnight December 18, 2023).

RACV is calling on motorists to be mindful of keeping to the left on a multi-lane road (rule 130) and not stopping on a freeway (rule 177), with Victoria Police figures showing almost 10,000 infringements totalling over $1.5 million in fines were handed out to motorists over the last 10 years for breaking these rules.

Infringements for stopping on a freeway have doubled in the last four years, up from 401 in 2019 to 978 in 2022.

RACV’s James Williams said failing to keep left, stopping on freeways and tailgating were just some of the actions that frustrate drivers, but are unsafe and illegal.

“We can all play our part to ensure we are safe and stress free on Victorian roads this summer – so take your time, follow the road rules and keep safety top of mind at all times when travelling,” Mr Williams said.

“Many people might not realise that failing to keep to the left on a multi-lane road and stopping on a freeway are actually illegal.

“When driving on any multi-lane road with a speed limit over 80km/h, you must keep out of the right lane unless you are overtaking or turning right, or all lanes are congested.

“If the right lane is a transit lane, this rule applies to the lane immediately to the left of the transit lane.

“Failing to comply with this rule can result in a $192 fine and loss of two demerit points.

“You’re also not allowed to stop on the freeway unless it is an emergency and if you do need to stop, it must be in the emergency lane. This can result in a $115 fine.”

Whether you are using roads you are familiar with, or driving to a new regional location, it is especially important that you plan and be prepared for increased traffic and different driving conditions.

“Take time to plan your trip before you depart, taking major, more well-maintained roads where possible.

“Stay aware of potential emergency warnings that could impact travel and utilise the VicEmergency app for real time updates about any possible fire risks for your travel route or destination,” Mr Williams said.

“Schedule breaks to ensure you’re well rested and have patience for your fellow motorists.

“Before you head off, make sure your roadside assistance is up to date and that the water, oil and tyre pressure are all where they should be.”

You can find more tips here, including essential items for your car safety and emergency kit and a practical guide to Victorian road rules via the RACV website.

In the meantime, here’s a few others:

  • Share the driving if possible
  • Take rest breaks at regular intervals
  • Pull off the road and have a power nap if you are feeling tired or drowsy
  • Never drive when you would normally be asleep (late at night or early in the morning)
  • Make sure your car is well maintained and consider a service before a lengthy trip
  • All tyres (including the spare) should be correctly inflated to the correct pressure
  • Ensure windows and lights are kept clean to ensure the driver’s visibility is not reduced


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