26 September 2023

New VicRoads team add speed to support

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VicRoads’ Incident Response Service (IRS) has been expanded with new officers and special purpose vans.

Announced by Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll, IRS is to patrol an expanded area of metropolitan freeways and arterial roads, with 12 new officers and six new special purpose vans to help the Service clear incidents more quickly.

“Our Incident Response Service is there to lend a hand when you need them most,” Mr Carroll said.

“With specialist training and equipment, they’re able to clear disruptions quickly and get you moving again,” he said.

“These Officers have been deployed in key hotspots in the western, eastern and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, where newly installed technology is helping dedicated engineers identify congestion and incidents.”

Mr Carroll said the IRS’s new vans had specialist fit-outs, including a rear-mounted electronic message board; fuel for emergency top-ups; traffic management equipment; and shunt bars to nudge broken-down vehicles off the road.

“Since their introduction, the average number of incidents responded to by the IRS on arterial roads in the west, east and southeast has increased dramatically, from 20 incidents per month to 55 incidents per month (per officer),” he said.

“With restrictions easing and people returning to work and social activities across the city, road patronage has returned to 92 per cent of pre-Covid levels.”

Mr Carroll said that, as restrictions eased late last year, traffic volumes returned to higher than pre-COVID levels on some arterial roads, “so this new team is key to identifying and clearing incidents and keeping traffic flowing across metropolitan suburbs”.

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