This weekend will see thousands of students across South Australia celebrate the end of their Year 12 exams.
With about 10,000 young people travelling to Victor Harbor to celebrate the end of their school years, police are keen to encourage safe choices with regard to both travelling to and from the event, and general behaviour across the weekend.
The traditional Schoolies event will take place under the watchful eye of the South Australia Police and volunteers from Encounter Youth which coordinates the official Schoolies Festival™ activities which are confined within a fenced off area at Warland Reserve.
The Schoolies Festival™, which is a ticketed event designed specifically for Year 12 school leavers, has activities taking place over three nights starting Friday (22 November).
Superintendent Mark Fairney, the officer in charge of the Hills Fleurieu Local Service Area (LSA) will be the Police Commander for this major event for the third consecutive year.
He said that police would be proactive in their policing of the event, with a focus on safety and crime prevention.
“We want the attendees have to have a good time, but we also want them to stay safe and not overindulge in alcohol,” he said.
“Police want to ensure behavioural offences do not have an impact on the local community over this weekend.
“My message for people attending the area this weekend is simple – If you are going to drink, don’t overdo it – set a reasonable limit and stick to it.
“When you drink too much you increase your chances of becoming a victim of crime or even an offender.
“Please look out for your friends, don’t let them wander off or leave them with someone they don’t know. Let’s ensure everyone gets home safely.”
Nigel Knowles, Encounter Youth Chief Executive Officer is pleased to announce Schoolies Festival™ has a new Principal Partner, Safer Journeys an initiative of South Australia Police, and are again ready with 500 volunteers to support young people all weekend.
“We have been keeping school leavers safe on our roads with zero fatalities for the past 20 years during Schoolies Festival™ proving the importance of a road safety partnership,” said Mr Knowles.
“There’s been 350,000 safe schoolies bus boardings to date on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road and we plead with this year’s schoolies to leave their car at home and book a free ticket on the Schoolies Festival™ Safer Journeys Bus Service.
“This is a tremendous milestone for our young people to celebrate and we’re pulling out all stops for them at the Festival including VR games like ‘Epic Roller Coaster’ which is very fitting to describe the journey of Year 12 students.”
The SA Police Road Safety Section (RSS) will also be working hard from Friday to Monday, engaging with young people at the Festival events.
The RSS team will conduct voluntary breath testing at caravan ad holiday parks at Goolwa, Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor.
This engagement opportunity also gives police the chance to talk to the attendees about their alcohol consumption and the importance of not drink driving while providing them with wristbands and sunglasses.
Teams will work with police from the LSA to ensure positive outcomes for the students and everyone living in the local area.
Motorists are reminded there may be heavy traffic in the region on Friday, plus there will be road closures which affect the roads surrounding Warland Reserve, Victor Harbor over the weekend.
The Victor Harbor to Middleton road will have a reduced speed limit of 60 km/h imposed for the duration of the Festival.