New MAC campaign to tackle the biggest killer on our road
Acting Road Safety Minister, Tom Kenyon today launched MAC's newest public education campaign to tackle the biggest killer on South Australian roads – speeding.
“The number of speeding offenders has reduced in recent years with a declining road toll, but around 23% of motorists still speed,” Mr Kenyon said.
“Speeding remains our biggest road safety challenge – an estimated 36% of fatal crashes between 2009 and 2011 identified speed as a contributing factor.
“Infringement data from SAPOL shows that 38 per cent of expiation notices issued in 2011 were for speeding by less than 10km/h over the limit, while about 79 per cent were for speeding by less than 15km/h over the limit.
“The community today considers illegal drink driving to be unacceptable, but that view doesn’t yet extend to low-level speeding, even when the crash risks are the same.
“Driving 10km/h over the speed limit in a 60km/h zone virtually quadruples the risk of involvement in a casualty crash and has similar risks to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of around 0.10 – twice the legal limit.
“When the urban speed limit was reduced in South Australia from 60km/h to 50km/h casualties fell by 24%,” Mr Kenyon said.
MAC Chief Executive Officer, Jerome Maguire says low level speeding is a dangerous community-wide issue due to the large number of drivers who speed by a small margin.
“Creeping over the speed limit has a contagious effect on drivers causing them to adopt higher speeds. So even though drivers may not be involved in a crash, they’re still contributing to the trauma on our roads,” Mr Maguire said.
“Drivers tend to underestimate crash and injury risk and over-estimate their driving ability, so while they acknowledge the risk of speeding, they believe it doesn’t apply to them.
“Managing speed will reduce the severity of all crashes regardless of factors contributing to the crash in the first instance – that is why controlling vehicle speeds is so important to road safety.
“The message is simple, if drivers do the right thing and drive within the speed limit, lives will be saved and serious injuries will be prevented,” Mr Maguire said.
Ms Melissa Williams, of Hillier South Australia lost her 18 year old son Dillon in a tragic motorcycle road crash in 2009. A contributing factor in Dillon’s death was low-level speeding.
Dillon had the best years of his life ahead of him. He had ambitions and dreams that he wanted to fulfill and to lose him is just indescribable,” Ms Williams said.
“I know the extra 10km/h or so in speed contributed to the severity of his injuries and ultimately his death. If he had been riding to the speed limit everyone may still be able to enjoy his beautiful smile today.
“Everybody out there who gets behind the wheel, think about what you’re doing. Don't hurt someone else or take your own life.
“Please, please, stick to the speed limit. Don’t think for a minute that it ‘won’t happen to me’, because it can. I never thought Dillon would get killed in a road crash.
“My pain is avoidable, because this was an avoidable crash,” Ms Williams said.
MAC’s campaign comprises a TV advertisement which will air from Sunday 7 October. The campaign also features newspaper, radio, cinema, online and outdoor advertisements.
For more information, see mac.sa.gov.au/speeding