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RAA marks the tragedy of South Australia’s road trauma

Monday, 6th May 2019

RAA is creating a field of road markers representing the 678 people killed and seriously injured in crashes last year in an effort to reduce road trauma as part of National Road Safety Week.

Today, there will be 80 roadside fatality markers at Victoria Square in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD to signify those killed and 598 markers for those seriously injured.

RAA Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain said RAA was using the markers to highlight the tragedy of fatal and serious injury crashes across the state.

“RAA hopes these markers will make people reflect on the emotional toll of road trauma on victims, their families and friends, and the broader community,’’ he said.

“The markers also serve as a reminder that despite last year’s road fatalities being a record low, any death is one too many.

“The serious injury markers illustrate that several hundred people may suffer for weeks, months or even for the rest of their lives as a result of road trauma.’’

Mr Mountain said in stark contrast to the 2018 road toll, 2019 had seen a horror start to the year, with crash numbers spiralling.

“More than 40 have been lives lost and 128 people seriously injured in the first four months alone and these tragedies reinforce the importance of the road safety message,’’ he said.

“Make sure you know and follow the road rules because breaking them can have devastating consequences for so many people.’’  

Mr Mountain also urged motorists to help reduce road trauma by driving cars with high safety ratings.

“Thankfully, serious injury crashes have been falling – from 1205 in 2008 to 598 last year – and improvements in car safety standards have made a significant contribution to that,’’ he said.  

Mr Mountain highlighted that more still needed to be done and called on the next federal government to adopt all 12 recommendations in the 2018 National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s promise to create a national Office of Road Safety, but we need real financial commitments from both the government and opposition including $3 billion a year towards a road safety fund,” Mr Mountain said.

“A change in strategy is urgently needed to rid the nation of high-risk highways and stop the carnage on our roads.

“Alarmingly, the latest report by the Australian Automobile Association on the performance of the National Road Safety Strategy shows we are not achieving its targets for reducing fatalities and serious injuries.’’

National Road Safety Week is an annual initiative created by the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group to honour those who have lost their lives or been injured on Australia’s roads.

The week highlights the impact of road trauma and campaigns to reduce the number of crashes due to unsafe roads and driving.

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