Raquel Stevens

It’s been a wet couple of weeks and with re-appearing potholes and icy conditions, drivers are being warned to slow down.

Sen. Con. Tracey Mitchell from Daylesford Police has urged motorists to drive to the conditions and keep a lookout for wildlife crossing the road.

Winter is well and truly here, what are our road conditions like at the moment?

We have all noticed an increase in damaged road structures such as large potholes as well as an increase in wildlife on and near our roads. Black ice is always something road users need to be aware of this time of year with no warning signs.

How important is it to drive to the conditions?

It is a timely reminder to road users to drive to the conditions especially now we are in winter. Be aware of black ice and fog/rain that affects visibility and our vision on the road. Be sure to utilise your headlights.

Can you give an example of an incident recently where you or a colleague had to attend.  Country roads can be deadly.

A driver was towing a trailer and hit black ice, causing the vehicle and trailer to lose traction. The driver was taken to the hospital to be assessed and luckily did not have any serious injuries.

For our young inexperienced drivers, explain how dangerous ‘ice’ on the roads can be?

Black ice has no warning signs and affects all road users whether experienced or not. Always remember to slow down when conditions are poor as you have little or no control over your vehicle if it hits ice.

Any tips when driving in these conditions?

Always leave earlier than need to adjust to poor driving conditions. Be patient with other road users.

The speed limit doesn’t always mean the speed limit, does it?

The speed limit is the maximum speed allowed, not a “must” speed. Slowing down 5kms makes a huge difference.

What other hazards do country drivers have to contend with?

Wildlife around our area is paramount. We need to be mindful of wildlife crossing our roads and please report any deceased wildlife that may be causing a traffic hazard.

Bending, winding and narrow roads impact country driving. A lot of us may be aware of the roads but we are a high tourist town, therefore have a lot of drivers in our area that are not familiar with our roads.

Police are often first on the scene with accidents, how does this impact on you?

It can be very distressing to those involved as some scenes can be quite confronting. There is support available for not only emergency services, but members of the public.

What message do you have for drivers, given everyone deserves to get home to their families safely?

 Please allow enough time for poor weather conditions and/or traffic disruptions when you are planning on traveling.

  • Drive to conditions.
  • Be patient with other road users.
  • Report any unsafe driving – this can be done via 000 or the Hoon Hotline on 1800333000.


Raquel Stevens is a former Network Ten News Journalist. She has been a part time local for more than 25 years, and one day hopes to be a full time local.