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Rest or Rescue – It’s your choice

Published 01/04/2015

This Easter long weekend, hundreds of Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) and Lions Club members will take time out from their holidays to make sure drivers get to their holiday destinations safely.

Over 40 Driver Reviver sites will operate across Victoria from Thursday 2 April through until Tuesday 7 April. For over 25 years, Driver Reviver has been a national campaign with one objective: to reduce road collisions by alleviating driver fatigue.

Today, VICSES has 152 volunteer units throughout the state, with 102 accredited to perform Road Rescue, making the SES the largest Road Rescue operator in Australia.

In the past year, volunteers were called to nearly 1,000 road rescue incidents across Victoria. 11 of those were across the last Easter long weekend (2014).

Driver Reviver sites offer free tea, coffee, water and biscuits to help motorists rest and refresh in a staffed and safe environment. “So far in 2015, we’ve had 66 fatalities on Victorian roads, an increase of 3 per cent*. That’s 66 people who won’t be celebrating Easter with their families this year,” said Tim Wiebusch, VICSES Deputy Chief Officer Operations.

“With an estimated 22 per cent of drivers admitting to momentarily falling asleep at the wheel, it is important to remember to take a break every two hours when driving.”

“Easter is a particularly busy time on our roads and I ask all Victorian drivers to take special precautions when travelling through the state this long weekend,” he said.

“It is always more gratifying for SES volunteers to have a friendly chat and serve you a cuppa at a Driver Reviver site than be faced with the trauma of cutting you out of your vehicle after a collision.”

Check the Driver Reviver Map for comprehensive list of sites and operating hours.

Tips for a long car journey

  • It is critical before leaving on long trips to be well rested
  • Plan trips so that you will stop at least every 2 hours; 15 minutes is a good break
  • Share the driving with someone else
  • Don't let the temperature inside the car make you drowsy
  • Keep the radio or music at a low level; loud music can interfere with concentration
  • Be flexible, if you feel you are getting tired, don't wait, find somewhere safe and have a quick nap