Victorians urged to drive safely this festive season

Published date: 20 Dec 2023

Victorians are being urged to put driving safely at the top of their ‘to do’ list this festive season, as the state experiences the highest number of fatalities on its roads in more than a decade.

The Transport Accident Commission is calling on everyone travelling this festive season to prioritise safety – with a focus on those taking long trips and using regional roads.

So far this year, 287 people have lost their lives on Victorian roads, the highest in 15 years, and a significant increase on the 234 at this time last year.

Authorities are particularly concerned with the increase in driver and passenger fatalities, which has risen to 185, compared with 124 at this time in 2022 – with more than 70 per cent of these deaths occurring across regional Victoria.

TAC Head of Road Safety Samantha Cockfield said people planning to travel long distances over the holiday period are encouraged to get a good night’s sleep before driving, allow plenty of travel time, drive to the conditions, remove distractions, and take regular breaks.

“It’s been a devastating year on Victorian roads, and we can’t forget that there are more than 280 families across our state heading into the holiday period missing someone they’ve lost to road trauma this year,” Ms Cockfield said.

“With more people travelling at this time of year, often with friends or family, and for longer periods, on unfamiliar roads, we are urging people to plan ahead and take pause stops along the way,” she said.

“We’re calling on Victorians to put safety on the top of their ‘to do’ list this holiday season – let’s work together to avoid leaving another family and community mourning the senseless death of a loved one this Christmas.”

Fatigue is a major factor in fatal crashes in country Victoria, where people are travelling longer distances, at higher speeds – meaning when something goes wrong the consequences are more likely to be fatal.

In a bid to tackle fatigue-related trauma, the TAC has partnered with the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) to set up 15 ‘Pause Stop’ locations within Visitor Information Centres across the state.

Each ‘Pause Stop’ will provide visitors with a range of resources, including information on how to avoid drowsy driving, activities to keep the kids entertained, and help planning a safe journey ahead.

VTIC acting CEO Christ Porter said with people travelling over Christmas and the summer holidays the partnership with TAC and the statewide visitor centres is a natural fit.

“Activating our Visitor Information Centre network to provide safe driving messages is a great way to engage our travellers while assisting them with what to see and do while exploring the regions,” Mr Porter said.

Visitor Information Centres are the perfect place to stop, revive, and explore what regional towns across our state have on offer.

For more information on Pause Stop locations and how to avoid drowsy driving, visit

Victoria’s State Emergency Service will also help people get to their destinations safely this festive season through  the Driver Reviver program, locations can be seen here,


Media queries only:

Please refer any other enquiries to: