Thousands of school leavers are making their way to Victor Harbor today with the help of the Motor Accident Commission’s (MAC) free bus service.
Through a partnership with Encounter Youth, MAC is again supporting free transport to and from Victor Harbor and a free shuttle bus around the Fleurieu Peninsula throughout the Schoolies Festival.
MAC Road Safety Communications Manager, Matt Hanton said ensuring alternative transport is provided for schoolies is essential to keeping young people off the roads when they may risk driving with alcohol or drugs in their system or while fatigued and distracted.
“It is fantastic to see these young people celebrate the end of their schooling achievements, but we don’t want to see these celebrations ruined by road trauma.”
“Each year school leavers attending the Schoolies Festival stay in accommodation sites spread across the Fleurieu. Without the free shuttle bus service, attending the Festival site in Warland Reserve, Victor Harbor, would be extremely challenging and potentially dangerous”.
“The MAC shuttle bus service will pick up and drop off school leavers at 16 locations across the Fleurieu Peninsula with services running approximately every 30 minutes during the peak of the festival’s nightly party period’.
“Not only is the service great for school leavers, it provides parents greater peace of mind, knowing that their children do not need to be walking the streets”, said Mr Hanton.
Historically, young drivers aged 16 to 19 have a rate of 7.9 deaths or serious injuries for every 10,000 drivers licensed, almost double the rate of drivers aged 25 and above.
“Unfortunately this year we have seen seven road fatalities in the 16-19 age group, compared to two in 2016 and seven in 2015 at this same time.
“We don’t want to see any more young people killed or seriously injured on our roads, especially over the schoolies weekend, so we’re taking this opportunity to once again use the Festival to promote road safety messages and encourage school leavers to use the free MAC transport options”, said Mr Hanton.
Encounter Youth CEO, Nigel Knowles said MAC’s partnership with Encounter Youth demonstrates MAC’s commitment to seeing young people remain safe on the road.
"We're really proud of winning the Community Road Safety Award at the SA Community Achievement Awards for our coordination of the Schoolies Festival Bus Service for 18 years of service. This isn't possible without MAC's support."
“The Free MAC Schoolies Festival Bus Service is an imperative strategy to ensure the success of the entire South Australian Schoolies Operation,” he added.
“The best way for school leavers to find their nearest MAC bus stop and view the boarding times is to download the free Schoolies Festival app to their phone,” said Mr Knowles.