SAPOL begins holiday safety campaign

SAPOL begins holiday safety campaign

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The SA Police Easter long weekend road safety campaign will begin at midday today, with the crash risk historically three times greater than normal.

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The SA Police Easter long weekend road safety campaign will begin at midday today, with the crash risk historically three times greater than normal.

SA Police Traffic Support Branch officer in charge Superintendant Bob Gray said a high percentage of crashes often occurred as people left for their Easter Holidays.

"Historically, the risk of a crash is three times greater on this day, so I am appealing for the public to take extra care, plan ahead and be patient," he said.

"If you are planning on heading away after work tomorrow, think about the impact of fatigue on your driving, and remember that a stop at least every two hours for a 10 minute break is recommended.

"Fatigue can produce inattention, zoning out and day-dreaming which are all extremely hazardous while driving."

He said the combination of school holiday and the Easter long weekend makes this one of the most popular weekends of the year for holidaying and community activities.

"Each year vast numbers of people travel to regional areas before, during and after the Easter long weekend, increasing the number of drivers travelling in areas they may not normally frequent," he said.

He said this long weekend is the focus of a significant road safety campaign by SA Police - will have all available officers on duty on the roads.

"While other people are enjoying a break with their friends and family, we will be hard at work," he said.

"Motorists need to belt up, obey the speed limit, concentrate on the road and driving environment, and make a choice not get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or illicit drugs."

RAA's Road Safety senior manager Charles Mountain said at this time of year even more people were expected to take advantage of driving holidays given the Easter break and Anzac Day fall within a seven day period.

"This, combined with school holidays, means many people will take advantage to visit holiday destinations, which means more traffic than usual on regional roads,'' he said.

"Historic crash data shows 70 per cent of fatalities occur on rural roads, with the condition of the roads and driver distraction among the biggest causes of collisions with the potential for tragic outcomes."

Mr Mountain said concern about regional road safety was one of the key reasons behind the regional focus to RAA's federal election priorities, which include duplication of the Dukes and Augusta highways and the inclusion of the Riddoch highway in the National Highway Network.

He said the Easter road safety message also highlighted the need for the next federal government to adopt the 12 recommendations in the 2018 National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry to rid the nation of high-risk highways and stop the carnage on our roads.

"While we await vital upgrades to our regional roads and a national approach to road safety, all road users can play their part to arrive home safely and celebrate a fatality-free Easter,'' Mr Mountain said.

He advised drivers on regional trips to watch out for wildlife, which is particularly active at dawn and dusk.

Mr Mountain also urged motorists of the danger of drowsy driving.

"It's safest not to drive when tired as fatigue contributes to many serious and fatal crashes, particularly in regional areas. On long trips, take a rest every two hours,'' he said.

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