Following a devastating week on South Australia’s roads, which has seen three more teenagers killed, the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) and South Australia Police (SAPOL) are calling on all drivers – young and old – to reflect on their driving choices.
Twelve people under the age of 20 have been killed on the State’s roads already in 2018 and with the tragic events of the past week, MAC and SAPOL are imploring the broader community to stop, reflect and adjust their driving behaviours.
Matt Hanton, MAC Road Safety Communications Manager, said that these crashes show the devastating impact of road trauma on families and communities and just how easily lives can be ripped apart in an instant.
"We all need to remember that life is fragile. Now is the time to stop, and adjust our driving behaviours to eliminate lives being lost on our roads."
"Every time we get behind wheel, we need to give the task of driving the full concentration it deserves, because you are not only putting yourself at risk, but every other road user."
"It’s easy to become complacent and take driving for granted and although sometimes we feel invincible, we are only safe when we make smart and responsible choices," said Mr Hanton.
This is especially important as students across the State make their way to the Schoolies Festival this weekend to celebrate the exciting milestone of finishing their schooling.
Superintendent Bob Gray, Officer in Charge, SAPOL Traffic Support Branch, reinforced the strong message that everyone has a responsibility to drive safely and avoid high risk driving behaviours.
"The loss of any life on our roads is a tragedy but when a young person is killed this is simply gut-wrenching. Not only is it tragic to lose one young life but this can have a life time impact upon so many others who may never recover from the loss."
"Family, friends, partners, fellow school students, teachers; and at times entire communities can be affected when a young person is killed on our roads."
"As parents, we are all very proud when our kids complete Year 12. It is a real achievement. Schoolies has evolved as a cultural event for our young people to celebrate the completion of these years of study. But it is also a real danger time where there could be a temptation to possibly drink and or drug drive."
"I cannot strongly urge enough that those attending Schoolies make the right choices - do not drink or drug drive a motor vehicle."
"Parents should also take a role in working with their kids on strategies to drop kids off at the various venues or other type considerations to diminish that temptation," said Superintendent Gray.
Free shuttle bus services are again being provided throughout the 2018 Schoolies Festival, providing an alternate transport service around the Fleurieu Peninsula for Schoolies, helping to ensure their celebrations don’t end in tragedy.
Nigel Knowles, Encounter Youth CEO, said that each of the shuttle buses will have Encounter Youth volunteers on board who are there to support young people in making positive choices over the weekend.
"While finishing school is a great achievement and we want our Schoolies to celebrate and have a great time, we don’t want to see their celebrations end in heartbreak," said Mr Hanton.