Mid north residents are among the state urged to have their say on a ambitious 10 year road safety plan designed to drastically reduce the number of lives lost on SA roads. The drafted South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy seeks to less road tragedies, with authorities hopeful of achieving a drop from the current three-year average of 96 per year to less than 47 per year by 2031.
It also sets a target to reduce serious injuries on SA roads by 30 per cent across the next 10 years – a reduction from 708 to fewer than 515 on average. Chiefly, the state government’s vision aims to reduce the amount of road deaths via key areas of strategy and support which target all road users, including pedestrians.
The bold plan was announced this month following the tragic death of a nine-year-old Findon boy on the Eyre Peninsula on Thursday, July 15, following a single vehicle roll over. The boy’s death was the 56th life lost on SA roads compared with 50 at the same time last year.
Unfortunately, the Mid North region has also lost lives on its roads this year. Already proactive with prevention of lives lost on Mid North roads is the Rotary Club of Clare’s Rotary members Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program. The two-day initiative, held annually, seeks to provide secondary students from Balaklava, Burrs, Clare and Riverton schools with practical road safety strategies and skills.
According to organisers, the initiative supports schools to create a road safety culture which provides students with tools, habits and motivation to take action to keep safe on the roads. This includes students hearing from survivors of road crashes, watching confronting footage and witnessing RAA safety demonstrations, to name a few. RYDA organisers strongly believe that long-term change will only be realised where education materials support each other, and key messages are repeated over time. Back at school the RYDA program gives teachers a portal of road safety resources, including lesson plans and curriculum links to continue their learning journey.
Meanwhile, Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia said the targets are the first steps towards achieving our vision of zero lives lost by 2050. The minister said residents’ opinions, views and input will help save lives and prevent serious injuries on the roads.
“Whether you drive, ride, walk or are a passenger, your feedback is crucial in helping us create a safer South Australia for every road user.”
Residents can provide feedback on the draft Strategy, which is available at the yourSAy website.
The proposed strategic focus areas of the draft strategy are:
- Road user behaviour: Supporting and enforcing safer road behaviour.
- Vehicles: Increasing the use and purchase of safer vehicles in SA.
- Roads: Safer design, construction and maintenance of road infrastructure.
- Regional and remote areas: Reducing the number of lives lost and serious injuries on regional and remote roads.
- Workplaces: Developing a culture of road safety in South Australian workplaces.
- Aboriginal road safety: Reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in road crashes.
- Older road users: Greater focus on road users aged 70 and older.
- Walking and cycling: Improving safety for people who walk and ride.
- Young drivers and riders: Focus on young people living in regional or remote areas and reducing their over-representation in road crashes.
The community consultation period remains open until 5pm on September 1, 2021.