Regional drivers targeted in safety campaign

Regional drivers targeted in safety campaign

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HANDY REMINDER: A billboard from the new road safety campaign being installed near Gawler. Photo: SAPOL

HANDY REMINDER: A billboard from the new road safety campaign being installed near Gawler. Photo: SAPOL

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A road safety advertising campaign will be targeted at regional road users, as SA Police takes on the media and marketing roles in the wake of the Motor Accident Commission being disbanded.

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A road safety advertising campaign will be targeted at regional road users, as SA Police takes on the media and marketing roles in the wake of the Motor Accident Commission being disbanded.

From July 1, the responsibility of road safety falls under the responsibility of SAPOL and DPTI who have already been dealing with road trauma and major crash investigations.

The campaign would continue on from the 'Think About Who You'll Leave Behind', which is being rolled out across the state, with a particular focus on regional locations.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Tom Osborn said the campaign would be highly visible across the regional banner network of nearly 60 billboard state-wide.

It will also feature advertising on metropolitan TV networks along with both regional TV and radio spots, speaking about the dangers of fatigue, speeding and drink driving.

"This campaign, which will also see digital advertising which started Monday is of significance given that about 60 per cent of this year's fatalities have been on regional roads," he said.

"We are keen to address the misapprehension that crashes on country roads involve people unfamiliar with the area - unfortunately all too often these involve local people on local roads.

"Any death or serious injury is devastating for a community.

"None more so than in country towns."

This campaign was first seen by the South Australian public in 2018, but its important message - asking people to consider who they would leave behind - is a heartfelt plea to the South Australian community to consider their behaviour on the roads.

"Road safety is everyone's responsibility and while this is just one of our road safety messages, it clearly reflects SAPOL's intent to continue to be a strong voice in this area," he said.

"Campaigns will continue to roll out in a seamless fashion in 2019 as we encourage the community to play their part in road safety."

This comes as the state government announced The Lead SA publishing editor Jim Plouffe would become the first chair of the Road Safety Committee.

The committee, which reports directly to the SA government, will include experts from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, SAPOL, the RAA, health experts, road safety researchers, and a road/regional transport authority.

Mr Plouffe's role will consist of coordinating the road safety advice provided by the high-level experts of the committee and implementing it through coherent media messaging, sponsorship and branding.

The Committee will be responsible for reviewing and providing advice on the prioritisation of measures to support road user education and behavioural influence programs; including community grant programs, sporting grants, research activities and advertising campaigns, including sponsorships.

Police, Correctional Services and Emergency Services Minister Corey Wingard said he expected a new, harder approach to road safety messaging to be taken under Mr Plouffe's lead.

"The messaging to South Australians must have an impact that actually changes driving behaviour," Mr Wingard said.

"Just recalling an advertisement is not enough. For it to be effective it must resonate with a person who is inclined to take risks behind the wheel and then change their attitude towards such behaviour."

The government has also increased the road safety messaging spend by 15 per cent, compared with the previous year.

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