DANGER WARNING: Incidents where motor vehicles and electricity assets come into contact need special safety precautions.
DANGER WARNING: Incidents where motor vehicles and electricity assets come into contact need special safety precautions. Matt Harris

Steer clear of the power network

ESSENTIAL Energy's North Coast regional manager Brendon Neyland has reminded drivers to exercise caution and avoid distraction when driving near the electricity network.

A spate of incidents involving power poles and vehicles has been put down to momentary lapses in concentration.

"Essential Energy has thousands of roadside power poles and electrical boxes on nature strips and if a vehicle comes into contact with these it can threaten the personal safety of those driving, their passengers and the general public,” he said.

"Bystanders should also remain at least eight metres clear of the scene, any fallen power lines or exposed wiring.

"Rescue should not be attempted until the power is disconnected.

"If your vehicle contacts a pole or power line, remain calm and stay in the vehicle until the power has been isolated and the wires removed.”

Witnesses may call 13 23 80 to switch off the power and if the situation is life threatening, call Triple 0 (000) immediately.

"An emergency evacuation is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted as a last resort such as when the vehicle is on fire.

"If you must exit the vehicle, first check for fallen power lines and then jump well clear to avoid contact with the vehicle and ground at the same time.

"When you jump, ensure you land with your feet together.

"Do not touch the vehicle, fall forward or backward, or allow your feet to step apart.

"Jump or shuffle with your feet together until you are at least eight metres clear of the vehicle, power lines or anything else in contact with them.

"Always treat power lines and anything in contact with them as live.

"If you suspect someone may have received an electrical shock, do not attempt to touch them and call for emergency assistance.”