Plea to drivers to 'stop dying'

Campaign urges drivers to 'stop dying' on SA's regional roads

"Out here, there are five things that'll kill you."

That's the dire warning from the likeable country bloke depicted in South Australia Police's newest road safety advertising campaign.

Designed to speak directly to the state's regional community, the new campaign comprises seven emotionally charged TV commercials enacting the horrors of the fatal five and how they play out on South Australia's regional roads.

At the centre of the campaign messaging is the alarming detail that two thirds of the lives lost in regional crashes are those of people who live in regional areas.

SAPOL Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott wanted to highlight one of the major statistics.

"Nearly half of the people who have died on regional roads this year have resided 20 kilometres or less from where the collision occurred," he said.

This statistic conflicts with the beliefs of the regional residents who were surveyed for the development of the campaign.

"We conduct rigorous attitudinal research to inform the messaging and creative execution of every road safety campaign," AC Parrott said.

"Overwhelmingly the research found that people living in regional areas believe it is metropolitan drivers who die on country roads.

"The common misconception is that drivers who know the local roads like the back of their hand are less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

"Our aim with this campaign is to dispel that myth."

AC Parrott said regional road users needed to understand that they were as susceptible to the fatal five as anyone else.

"Drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, excessive speed, distraction, dangerous driving - including driving when fatigued - are the behaviours killing people from our regional communities and it needs to stop," he said.

While only 30 per cent of South Australia's population lives in regional or rural areas, an alarming 70pc of deaths happen on regional roads.

State Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia said that while only 30 per cent of the state's population lived in rural areas, an alarming 71pc (54) of lives lost in 2021 had occurred on regional roads, which is about the average each year.

"Driving close to home does not guarantee your safety in the regions, but this crucial new road safety campaign aims to raise awareness about the Fatal Five and urgently change driver behaviour," Mr Tarzia said.

"Sadly, complacency has crept in for some, but there's still an opportunity to reverse bad driving habits while saving lives and preventing serious injuries on our roads.

"We ask that every road user stop, listen and digest the confronting content of this new campaign.

"If just one life is saved, then it has done its job."

The campaign, which includes six 15-second commercials and a 30-second commercial, began airing across regional, metropolitan and on demand TV stations from Sunday, October 17.

The first campaign burst runs until the middle of November, with the campaign returning to market in April 2022.

The campaign will also appear in regional newspapers, on social media and digital platforms, on road side billboards and in pubs, clubs and road houses across the state.

This story Campaign urges drivers to 'stop dying' on SA's regional roads first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.