Drivers are being urged to Think! Road Safety over the Adelaide Cup long weekend as new tourism figures reveal droves of South Australians continue to flood metropolitan and regional areas in a huge boost for the local economy.
With thousands of South Australians excited to take advantage of the three-day break this weekend, the Marshall Liberal Government is reminding motorists of the need for road safety vigilance – regardless of whether travel is close to home or in rural areas.
SAPOL is conducting Operation Safe Long Weekend from Friday to Monday (5th-8th) to prevent further tragedies. Data shows six lives were lost on South Australian roads over the period in the past five years. Five occurred on regional or rural roads.
Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia said two lives were tragically lost during the period in 2020.
“I am pleading with South Australians to survive the drive this weekend and get through the break without any lives lost or serious injuries,” Minister Tarzia said.
“This weekend marks a painful anniversary for families, friends, colleagues, emergency responders and communities who will forever be reminded of their loss at a time when we should be celebrating and enjoying our great state.
“Sadly, the data also reveals the six lives lost over the long weekend period had a Fatal Five factor attributed to the tragedies. Three of those lives lost had more than one Fatal Five factor.”
The Fatal Five causes of lives lost are speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, distraction and dangerous driving.
“It is disturbing and incomprehensible that some drivers would dare get behind the wheel without putting on a seatbelt. That’s not good enough,” Minister Tarzia said.
SAPOL Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott, Officer in Charge of State Operations Service, said Operation Safe Long Weekend will combine enforcement and education to deter drivers from making potentially catastrophic decisions.
"We want South Australians to enjoy time together this long weekend and to explore our great state, but we do not want them to come home in an ambulance or worse, not come home at all,” AC Parrot said.
"If you don’t allow enough time to get to your destination, you may feel pressure to take unnecessary risks, which could be fatal.”
The fresh road safety warning comes as South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) figures show the state is enjoying record-high accommodation rates in the CBD and regions.
The highest CBD occupancy rate of the year – 81%– was recorded last Friday night during the opening week of the Adelaide Fringe.
The SATC says, in January, that regional hotels recorded their highest revenues for any month on record, exceeding $20 million.
“If you’re planning a regional trip or just staying at home this weekend, please exercise caution in the car and on the motorcycle,” Minster Tarzia said.
“Stick to the speed limit on all roads, no matter your skill level or experience. Stop for a break every two hours on long trips and do not allow yourself to be distracted.”
SAPOL has statewide road safety campaigns running across the weekend.
The current number of lives lost is 17 compared to 16 at the same time last year.
Adelaide Cup long weekend:
Fatal Five Category
Drink and Drug Driving
Dangerous Road Users
Note: Three lives lost had more than one Fatal Five factor attributed to the crash.