South Australia Police (SAPOL) is urging the public to exercise extra caution on the roads over the upcoming public holiday and weekend after a disappointing start to the year with ten lives already lost on the roads compared with two people this time last year.
Officer in Charge, Traffic Services Branch, Superintendent Bob Gray said the current road toll should be a wakeup call to everyone.
“It is disheartening that ten people have lost their lives on the road so early in the year. The consequences of dangerous driving on the road can leave people with a lifetime of regret or worse- a missing person at their family’s dinner table,” said Superintendent Gray.
“It is easy to forget the basic but essential principles of responsible driving – adhering to the speed limit is absolutely crucial. Creeping over the speed limit might seem trivial and is easy to do but it can quickly lead to something more serious. Drive to the conditions, put on your seatbelt and keep your mobile phone away while driving.”
With the roads extra busy on Thursday particularly with those returning from holidays or those fitting in one more getaway before children return to school next week, SAPOL will be ramping up enforcement and testing for drink and drug driving across the state.
“Driving after drinking or taking drugs is reckless. Excuses at testing stations for this behaviour won’t be accepted by our officers. Don’t be a selfish prick and take an innocent life because of your choices,” said Superintendent Gray.
During the Australia Day public holiday in 2022 there were no lives lost and three serious injuries on the roads. In addition, there were five people fined and eight people reported for drink driving, while three people were arrested and 23 expiations issued for drug driving.
Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Joe Szakacs is pleading with the public to be patient and considerate on the roads saying police can only do so much.
“Road safety is a collective responsibility- police officers cannot be everywhere at the same time. As soon as any member of the public enters a public road, they must be vigilant. Take personal responsibility for ensuring you aren’t distracted- put phones away and keep your one focus on arriving at your destination safely,” said Minister Szakacs.
With many children returning to school next week, road users can expect to see additional children and families on the road- many of who may be excited or anxious to start the school year. All road users should be extra cautious and remember to slow down through school zones.
Members of the public can report any dangerous driving to SAPOL immediately by calling 131 444. When making a report, it is helpful to have key information on hand to provide to police such as the make and colour of the vehicle and an indication of which direction the vehicle is going in.