WANGARATTA police officers narrowly avoided a high-speed collision with a motorist on Wednesday.
Officers almost drove in front of a vehicle travelling about 110km/h in thick fog and without lights on the Hume Highway.
Police are concerned by the number of drivers risking serious injury by driving through fog without lights.
Constable Scott Woodstock said police “had seen the car at the last second and didn’t pull out”.
“If we had have pulled out in front of him it could have possibly been a fatality,” he said.
“The driver was issued with a $221 fine and one demerit point.
“While that might seem a little bit steep, it’s to do with safety.
“It’s pretty dangerous in those conditions.”
Constable Woodstock said officers had seen 20 to 30 drivers without lights while attending a traffic matter near Spinghurst on Wednesday.
He said most were in newer vehicles that had automatic headlights.
“A lot of people I pulled up didn’t even realise they were not on,” Constable Woodstock said.
“The lights are set to automatic but it’s not dark enough for them to switch on.
“Even though the fog is thick enough for visibility to be down to under 100 metres, the lights aren’t automatically turning on.
“We want people to see and be seen.
“A lot of the people we pulled over commented about the number of motorists without lights and didn’t realise they also had their lights off.”
The Hume Freeway was covered in a thick fog between Albury and Wangaratta yesterday morning.