Focus on visiting driver safety

Transport Pillar

Bilingual videos, digital advertising and social media will be used to help educate international drivers using Victorian roads as part of a new State Government campaign.

Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren launched the Visiting Driver Road Safety Program, developed in partnership with the Transport Accident Commission, Victoria Police and VicRoads.

It will focus on visiting drivers at the wheel on unfamiliar roads and in unfamiliar conditions.

Key safety messages to be conveyed to visiting drivers via various channels include:

  • Pulling off roads to take photographs and enjoy scenery;
  • Allowing extra time for journeys which might take longer than people estimate;
  • Taking two-hourly breaks from driving;
  • Driving within limits and according to conditions;
  • Knowing road rules, signs and markings before driving;
  • Wearing seatbelts;
  • Driving on the left; and,
  • Avoiding distractions including mobile phones and other devices.

International driver safety is a serious issue in G21 region, given its high volume of tourist traffic, particularly on the Great Ocean Road and hinterland.

Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson has expressed deep concern and called for more rigorous driver evaluation, education and permit allocation systems.

The Victorian Government Visiting Driver Safety Program is modelled on a successful New Zealand international driver safety project and is supported by major vehicle rental companies, which recognise the critical responsibility they have in ensuring that their clients are aware of road safety risks.

Need to boost visitor road awareness and safety has never been more important, with international tourist numbers at a high and more than a third of them choosing a self-driving holiday.

“The Visiting Driver Road Safety Program will help international drivers in Victoria have a safe trip, while enjoying everything our great state has to offer,” Mr Eren said.

“Tourists mean business growth and more jobs for regional Victoria, and we’re determined to ensure that everyone is safe on our roads during the busy summer period.”

The program complements a wider range of road safety initiatives.

Risk of extreme heat and bushfires during Victorian summers also mean it is important that international visitors identify broadcast channels and mobile apps for information updates.

Victoria welcomed 2.8 million international visitors in the 12 months to September 2017 and they brought a spend of $7.6 billion.

Sources: A Victorian Government media release, an ABC News report.