The Victorian Labor Government has partnered with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to launch an unprecedented effort to get the road safety message into regional Victoria.

Between now and the end of January, TAC teams will attend more than 40 country racing days, music festivals and other community events to urge people to think about the speed they’re travelling, and to take extra care of the roads.

Vanessa, the TAC’s youth program, will have vehicles at summer music festivals and youth events, running games, as well as providing free breath tests, giving away prizes and helping young people plan a safe way home.

The TAC will visit numerous Carols by Candlelight events, and partner with Cinema Pop-Up, which will be travelling the state. Free breath testing will be provided at all Country Racing Victoria events.

The state is approaching its third straight year of increased road fatalities, with Victorians four times more likely to be killed and 40 per cent more likely to be seriously injured on regional Victorian roads.

TAC initiatives will encourage road users to plan their journey ahead of time and separate drinking and driving completely.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, said: “We’re urging everyone to slow down, plan your trip, and take your time – often the best gift you can give at Christmas is just being there.”

Transport Accident Commission CEO, Joe Calafiore, said: “There’s a lot on our social calendars over the next few months so we just need people to plan their trips, separate drinking from driving, avoid driving while tired or distracted and look out for each other on the roads.”