Source: South Australia Police
A sincere thank you, but not a time for celebration
In 1974, 382 people died on South Australian roads. The highest ever recorded in this state’s history.
“Today I can say that for 2018 we have recorded 80 deaths of people on our roads. The lowest ever recorded road toll since official records were first kept in 1970,” Acting Commissioner Linda Williams said.
“However, this is not a time for patting ourselves on the back!
“It is not a time for complacency and definitely not a time for any form of celebration – it is still 80 people who have lost their lives on our roads.”
That is the family and friends of 80 people who will always remember 2018 for losing that very special person forever:
- It is still 80 doors that police officers were forced to knock on to break the hearts of loved ones with simply horrible news
- It is 14 kids under 20 years old who will never get to celebrate their 21st birthdays
- It is 10 motorcyclists who will never get that feeling of freedom in riding their motorbikes again
- It is 26 people over 60 years of age who will never get that chance to enjoy their golden years of retirement or watch their grandchildren grow up
- It is 6 cyclists who will never again get that thrill of buying and riding a new bike – or riding with their mates
- And it is a staggering, just simply a staggering 61 people who have died on our rural roads who will never again experience the vast beauty of this great state
We are not necessarily talking about the very young or the very old drivers who drive at night and on weekends.
Those greatest at risk are MEN, over 50 years of age who drive in daylight hours and during the week.
Notwithstanding this, there are 589 people who have also sustained a serious injury from a road accident.
In total – that is potentially 675 families, relatives, friends and work colleagues who will want this year to be the one to forget.
Many will be affected by this road trauma for the remainder of their lives.
Many will struggle to overcome the emotions, feelings and trepidation that come with the loss of a loved one or dealing with long-term injury.
However, it is critically important to acknowledge those in our community who have changed their driving habits.
It is a time to sincerely thank those who did heed the road safety message.
Thanks to those who made genuine life changing decisions to:
- Not drink or drug drive
- Not to speed
- Not to get distracted
- Not to be a dangerous road user
- But who did wear a seatbelt and ensured their passengers did the same
Trying to constantly reinforce the road safety message is a profound challenge.
We can never ever lose sight of our own individual responsibilities when we are on the roads. Once a poor decision is made we can never take it back. There are no what if’s; and there are absolutely no action replays.
Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, truck drivers, people in mopeds or any person who is on the road can never be complacent; can never stop being vigilant; and can never take anything for granted.
Acting Commissioner Linda Williams further stated: “I might sound like that I am not pleased that we have recorded the lowest recorded road toll in this state.
“Of course I am heartened to think that maybe; just maybe the road safety message has gotten through to more people in our community and I am truly thankful for that.
“However, we must persevere; we all must continue to be resilient; and we can never ever be totally satisfied until no person is killed or seriously injured on our roads.”
South Australia Police Minister Corey Wingard believes that not just one initiative on its own has been the panacea to reduce the state’s road toll to 80.
“When people die, or are seriously injured on South Australian roads, it can deeply affect and impact upon surviving families and friends for many years – for some they never fully recover the physical and mental trauma”, Police Minister Corey Wingard said.
“There is no simple or single answer as to why the road toll is down. So it is proven that we must have a range of diverse initiatives running simultaneously which focus on reducing death and serious injuries on our roads. We can never be satisfied with any deaths on our roads as one is still one too many.
“It is important for me to praise those who actually do the right thing and do understand the critical importance of being responsible on our roads. So a sincere thank you to those people.
“But it does not stop here. We must all keep focus and sustain what we have achieved. To go backwards this year would undermine a hell of lot of great and hard work that has been done across our community to get to where we are today. So I implore you to keep the momentum and the vigilance on South Australian roads in 2019.”
NOTE: The official road toll for the year may still change slightly given that anyone who dies within 30 days of a crash may be included, or other explanations can be identified in some cases already included in the toll.