Road safety experts come together to reduce road deaths

2 May, 2024

Ahead of National Road Safety Week (5-12 May), RAA has brought together South Australia’s leading safety experts for a roundtable discussion today – to analyse how South Australia can reach the targets set out in the SA Road Safety Strategy.

The state’s 10-year Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan targets a 50% reduction in lives lost and 30% reduction in serious injuries by 2031.

In the 12 months to the end of the March quarter, 99 people lost their lives and 807 serious injuries were suffered on SA roads (SA Police data) – 18% more than the 84 lives lost and 23% more than the 655 serious injuries that would see the state on track to meet its targets.

Today’s roundtable will include Members of Parliament, experts from organisations including SA Police, Metropolitan and Country Fire Service, the Centre for Automotive Safety Research, other road user advocacy groups and RAA.

The discussion will focus on three key areas impeding South Australia’s progress towards a more sustained reduction in road trauma:

  • Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists)
  • Regional roads
  • Dangerous driver behaviour

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said finding ways to positively impact one or all of these areas would help save South Australian lives and reduce serious injuries.

“This is not a problem that is isolated to SA, but it’s one that is costing South Australians their lives,” Mr Mountain said.

“Since the early 2010s, South Australian fatal crash numbers have not decreased anywhere near as much as they did during the period before 2010, and this stagnancy in the trend is concerning.

“Today’s discussion is about bringing everyone together to discuss how we can improve in three areas we believe are key to reducing the current level of road trauma. This is not a talkfest – we want real outcomes to inform actions.

“The fact the Minister is here so soon after taking responsibility for these portfolios really shows how much of a priority it is and we look forward to working closely with everyone here today to help save lives on our roads.”

Minster for Police and Emergency Services Dan Cregan said, “The State Government is taking action to advance its vital road safety targets set out, including investing more than a quarter of a billion dollars over five years to make South Australian roads safer, with a strong regional focus.

“This funding supports critical infrastructure, resources and education programs to reduce road trauma and show the devastating reality of dangerous behaviour behind the wheel.

“I acknowledge the RAA’s commitment to working together to create a safer road network for all road users.”

Superintendent Darren Fielke, Officer in Charge, Traffic Services Branch said, “National Road Safety Week raises vital awareness and initiates important conversations around road safety. Road safety is not just a topic for this week, as we should all keep road safety at the forefront of our minds every day.

“There is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution to road safety, and we need to take a multi-faceted approach towards education and changing driver behaviour with the aim to reduce lives lost.

“South Australia Police drives public education campaigns which target the Fatal 5, emerging road safety issues, and vulnerable road users in co-ordination with enforcement and education activities.

“SAPOL conducts state-wide policing of our roads, but we are only one part of reducing road trauma. All road users can contribute to safety on our roads by engaging in responsible driving behaviour.”