Road safety snapshot revealed

Road safety snapshot revealed

Anew road safety report is highlighting how vital education programs are reaching more young South Australians to help them make safe decisions when on the road.

The first annual report of South Australia’s Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2025, released during National Road Safety Week, presents a 12-month snapshot of achievements and progress against the action plan’s 10 priority areas, including schools and local places, regional areas and road user behaviour.

The action plan, released in February 2023, identifies measures that will contribute to a target of at least a 50% reduction in lives lost and a 30% reduction in serious injuries on South Australian roads by 2031.

Targeting dangerous behaviour through road safety education is a key focus, with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport’s THINK! Road Safety Partnerships Program at the forefront of driving cultural change among young people.

Last year the program delivered 21 partnership agreements, including high-profile ambassadors like V8 Supercars driver Todd Hazelwood and Port Adelaide Football Club’s Darcy Byrne-Jones involved in campaigns to shift younger drivers’ thinking.

More than 28,000 students in primary and high schools across SA, 1000 regional football players and 500 people from local community groups and organisations accessed a road safety-related educational program in the past 12 months.

The RAA Street Smart High event in September 2023 had a record number of participants with more than 10,000 students from 89 schools attending – witnessing a crash re-enactment and hearing from RAA, SAPOL and road trauma survivors.

The MFS’ Road Awareness Program (RAP) – delivered by specially trained firefighters to young drivers – held nearly 250 sessions, giving thousands of people an insight into the experience of those working in road crash rescue and trauma.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network’s Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) program addressed historical over-representation of young people in road crashes through hard-hitting sessions in regional areas like Ceduna, Port Pirie, Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, the Riverland and Barossa Valley.

THINK! Road Safety helped to facilitate the South Australian Aboriginal Secondary Training Academy (SAASTA) Connect, Santos Aboriginal Power Cup and the Multicultural Cup through the not-for-profit arm of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

These events use football to engage more than 1300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and tackle key social issues such as road safety, with students making a video on a road safety topic that would hit home to their peers.

Road crashes are one of the major causes of death and serious injury for 16-to-24-year-olds in South Australia while trauma is responsible for over 40% of deaths in the 15-to-25-year-old age group across Australia.

While there were fewer 16-to-19-year-old lives lost in SA in 2023 than in previous years, there was an increase in the number of vulnerable road users killed, including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Last year 117 lives were lost on South Australian roads while 824 people were seriously injured.

To date, 33 lives have been lost on the state’s roads.

The State Government has committed more than a quarter of a billion dollars over five years to help reduce injuries and fatalities on SA roads, including $37m to improve pedestrian and cycling safety as part of a $168m nationwide Road Safety Program.

To read the Road Safety Action Plan Annual Report 2023 or view South Australia’s Road Safety Action Plan 2023-2025 visit the THINK! Road Safety site.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Dan Cregan said the plan forms an integral part of the Government’s commitment to reduce road trauma, which too often devastates young people and their families.

“Education remains a key pillar – delivering programs that hit home and positively influence driver behaviour for the next generation on our roads,” he said.

“These programs have grown and reached more young South Australians in the past year, empowering those starting out behind the wheel to make informed decisions to keep themselves and other road users safe.

“We know there’s much more to be done, but the first annual report of the Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25 marks an important step for the government to assess progress on its targets and inform future measures to help save lives.”

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