Authority to drive in hazardous areas
A Hazardous Area Authority is required for drivers of vehicles that have 13 or more seats (including the driver) and who wish to drive in proclaimed 'hazardous areas' for the Victorian Alpine region during the snow season.
Holders of a Hazardous Area Authority (HAA) are only permitted to drive a vehicle for which they have undertaken hazardous area training for. A HAA does not allow the holder to drive a vehicle if they do not have the appropriate driver licence category.
Types of Hazardous Area Authorities
There are 2 types of Hazardous area authorities:
- Mt Hotham - this allows the holder to drive in any proclaimed hazardous area including Mt Hotham and
- Defined Areas other than Mt Hotham - this allows the holder to drive in any proclaimed hazardous area except Mt Hotham.
Carry a Hazardous Area Authority
You must carry a current Hazardous Area Authority and your current Victorian or interstate driver licence when driving in a hazardous area.
Vehicles requiring an Authority to Drive
If you are driving in a defined hazardous area, a Hazardous Area Authority is required for the following vehicles.
1. Vehicles that have 13 or more seats (including the driver) that are operated by a person who is either accredited or registered to provide bus services under the Bus Safety Act 2009 :
- for hire or reward
- as part of a courtesy service, or
- for, or in connection with, the activities of a religious, philanthropic, educational, sporting or social body.
2. Vehicles that seat more than 30 people (including the driver).
It does not include vehicles that move on caterpillar tracks, which are designed for use on the snow.
Hazardous areas, and the period within which they are to be regarded as hazardous are determined by VicRoads and published in the Victorian Government Gazette.
The following specific areas are proclaimed as hazardous during the period 1 June to 7 October each year.
- Falls Creek
- Licola Area
- Mt Buffalo
- Mt Donna Buang
- Mt Saint Gwinear
- Mt Tamboritha
- Lake Mountain
- Mt Baw Baw
- Mt Buller
- Mt Hotham
- Mt Stirling
- Mt Torbreck.
Hazardous areas are also defined in the VicRoads information bulletin Bus travel in hazardous Areas (Snowfields) [PDF 197Kb].
Duration of a Hazardous Area Authority
A Hazardous Area Authority is issued for 6 years. Hazardous Area Authorities expire on 31 December of the expiry year.
No fees are payable for the issue or replacement of a Hazardous Area Authority.
How to get a Hazardous Area Authority
You must successfully complete a 4 day training course during the snow season.
How to renew a Hazardous Area Authority
Renewal information is sent to all Hazardous Area Authority holders in February/March of the year the Authority is due to expire. This allows for assessment during the snow season.
The following renewal requirements are necessary for a Hazardous Area Authority, which is due to expire or one that has not expired by more than 5 years.
Driving on Mt Hotham
You must complete a 1 ½ day re assessment of skills associated with bus operations in hazardous areas.
Driving in all other areas
You must either:
- Complete a 1 ½ day re assessment of skills associated with bus operations in hazardous areas. This course is conducted by a training course provider during the snow season, or
- Complete a statutory declaration which states that the driver has driven a bus in a hazardous area at least 5 times during the last 2 snow seasons. National Driver Work Diary pages or other proof may be requested.
Training courses are conducted by a training provider in a declared hazardous area during the snow season. Training may commence the Monday before the Queen's Birthday holiday (Vic).
After successful completion of the course the training provider will forward your details to VicRoads.
You need to discuss the test vehicle with the training provider. You may be able to undertake the training/course using in your own vehicle.
Contacting VicRoads about a Hazardous Area Authority
Issue and Renewal
Licence and Registration Services
Lower Ground Floor, North Building
60 Denmark Street, Kew Vic 3101
Call: 13 11 71
Fax: 03 9854 2399
Training course providers
Call: 03 5821 1099 or
1300 365 400
Call: (03) 5134 6876
Call: 1300 365 400
Call: 1300 84 33 87
Fax: 1300 84 33 32
Mobile: 0417 362 469