Rising rural road toll
FROM PAGE 1
On the outskirts of metropolitan Adelaide, a 15km stretch of Gorge Rd in the Adelaide Hills was the worst trap for crashes, with a rate of 96 collisions per 10km of driving in 2013-2017, including 14 serious and two fatal crashes.
Victor Harbor Rd, from just outside of the main township to Willunga Hill, ranked second with 49 crashes per 10km, while Port Wakefield Rd between Two Wells and Port Wakefield had a crash rate of 37, including seven fatalities. Victor Harbor Council mayor Graham Philp said it was long, windy stretches and a high presence of wild animals that made Victor Harbor Rd so dangerous.
“We do have issues with kangaroos and (other) wild animals crossing the road,” Mr Philp said.
“Also because it’s so winding and hilly there’s quite considerable distances where no passing is available.
“We do get a lot of heavy vehicles using that road slowing things down and causing frustration, so drivers are willing to take risks they shouldn’t be taking,” he said.
Another dangerous spot is Horrocks Hwy north of Adelaide. There were 87 crashes along the Tarlee to Stanley Flat stretch, including three serious injuries and five fatalities.
RAA road safety senior manager Charles Mountain said the association had been advocating for road upgrades to improve the highway’s poor surface and add more overtaking lanes.
“The State Government recently announced $2.5 million to address some sections of the highway, which is a step in the right direction,” he said.
“However, further investment will be needed on this corridor to bring it to safe and acceptable condition for the thousands of motorists who use this road on a daily basis.”
Mr Mountain said more needed to be done to improve road safety and driver education on SA’s country roads.
“Factors such as fatigue are potentially a greater issue because of the greater distances people tend to drive in the country,” he said.
Mr Mountain said safe road conditions, drivers, cars and speeds were all vital to reduce serious and fatal crashes.
SA Police Traffic Support Branch Superintendent Bob Gray said vehicle occupants not wearing a seatbelt had a higher prevalence in rural fatalities.
“SA Police have run Operation Belt Up as a high-profile enforcement message in response to this,” he said.
“The road toll is not about numbers – it is about the devastating impact these preventable deaths and serious injuries have in each family, community and workplace touched by these individuals.”
Transport Department data