Incident response service

VicRoads Incident Response Service (IRS) patrols Melbourne’s freeways, clearing incidents and helping maintain traffic flow.

The IRS responds to on-road incidents that affect the flow of traffic. This includes crashes, vehicle breakdowns, debris on the road and chemical spills.

The IRS assist police and emergency services with the safe and timely management of incidents, including setting up signage and managing traffic flow around the scene. Once the emergency services have left the scene the IRS assist with clearing debris and re-opening lanes to get traffic moving again as quickly as possible.

By responding quickly, the IRS reduces traffic congestion and the risk of follow-on incidents.

If your car breaks down on a freeway and is affecting traffic flow, we will tow it out of the way to get traffic moving again. Where necessary we will also move vehicles that are illegally blocking traffic.

Where the IRS operates

The IRS operates on 174km of Melbourne's metropolitan freeways.

How does VicRoads know if there is an incident?

Incidents are identified by VicRoads Traffic Management Centre (TMC) using cameras, traffic detectors and information provided from emergency services and the public. VicRoads also provides information about incidents to the media for traffic reports.

How to contact the IRS

If you see or are involved in an incident blocking traffic flow on a major road in Melbourne, please report it to our Traffic Management Centre on 13 11 70 (24 hours).

Not a roadside assist or towing service

The IRS does not provide towing services or mechanical repairs to vehicles.

More information

Feedback on the service can be provided to VicRoads by calling our Customer Service Centre on 13 11 71 or via the feedback and enquiries online form.

If you breakdown or crash

  • Find a safe spot to pull over such as an emergency lane, otherwise to the side of the road (as far left as possible).
  • Turn your hazard lights on and activate your headlights in poor light.
  • Call the emergency services or roadside assistance if required (remember the rules about mobile phones and driving).
  • Call 13 11 70 or use a freeway help phone if you cannot move your vehicle off the road and it is blocking traffic.
  • Only get out of your vehicle if it is safe to do so and from the passenger side if possible. Make sure you check for traffic first. If it is not safe to leave, stay in your vehicle.
  • Never try to cross a major or busy road on foot.
  • Stand as far from the road as possible (and behind any safety barriers if present) when waiting or exchanging details, never in-between or beside vehicles close to moving traffic.
  • Always wear your seatbelt when waiting for help in your car.

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