Police urge travellers to be prepared when travelling to ski resorts in NSW and Victoria

Holidaymakers heading to the snow for the opening weekend of the ski season are being urged to prepare accordingly after thousands of vehicles were forced to turn around last year.

Victoria Police has revealed more than 3600 vehicles have been returned to Mount Hotham for attempting to travel without the wheel chains required to drive in snowy conditions.

Eastern Region Superintendent Shane Cashman warned police would carry out random checks on vehicles and adopt a zero-tolerance policy for unprepared passengers.

“Conditions can change quickly on the snow, so make sure you’re prepared, even if you’re an experienced snowshoer,” he said.

“We want travelers to make memories on the slopes, not on the roadside.”

Victorian drivers can face a fine of $370 for not wearing chains during the snow season and a fine of $970 for not fitting them to their bikes when instructed to do so.

Visitors to ski resorts in Victoria and NSW can expect to encounter a heavy police presence throughout the season, including highway patrol, specialist units and liquor license officers.

On Friday, NSW Police launched Operation Snow Safe, aimed at tackling alcohol-related crime at licensed venues, dangerous and distracted driving and risky behavior on the slopes.

Southern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar APM said around one million tourists are expected to flock to the Alpine region during the 2024 snow season.

“Snow conditions can be difficult to navigate, so we’d like to remind everyone to prioritize safety on their journey, plan your journey, take regular breaks, check the weather before you leave and keep snow chains on your tires in slippery conditions,” he said. . said.

“The Monaro Police District will be reinforced by uniformed and plainclothes officers to ensure that people are safe in and around permitted areas, (and) not put at risk by drink or drug driving.”

Assistant Commissioner Cassar said the new police station in Jindabyne, suitable for use, would serve as a base for search and rescue operations around the snowfields.

Last year NSW emergency services responded to 31 incidents during the season.

NSW State Emergency Services Acting Commissioner Debbie Platz urged skiers, snowboarders and hikers to be prepared and hire a personal locator when heading to remote locations.

“Snowfield conditions can be difficult to navigate,” she said.

“Visitors should expect bad weather and be prepared for it. Hikers – no matter how experienced – should stick to the trail, as whiteouts and snow clouds can quickly and easily get confused.”

Victoria Police reiterated the warning after responding to 19 search and rescue incidents during last year’s snow season, including a man who drove off a cliff at the Mount Buller ski resort.

An 18-year-old man was lucky to be saved when a number of trees prevented his car from falling further down the mountain.

Paramedics rescued him and took him to safety.

A month later, Victoria Police intercepted the driver of a 22-seater private bus driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Superintendent Cashman said police would look out for bad driving behavior such as impaired driving, speeding, distraction and fatigue.

“If you’re driving in bad weather and dealing with conditions like rain, ice or snow, use common sense – slow down, maintain a safe stopping distance and use your headlights so you can see and be seen,” he said.

The warnings come as ski resorts across the country prepare for a terrifying start to the 2024 snow season, with only one of 75 chairlifts operating in NSW on the first weekend.

Read related topics:Melbourne

Leave a Comment