Have a safe and sound summer on the state’s roads, South Australia

SA Police today detailed their major, annual high-visibility road safety operation in a bid to make drivers consider their responsibilities when behind the wheel.

Operation Safe Holidays, which begins tomorrow sees police focused on the five key factors which contribute to road fatalities and serious injury crashes each year.

The factors, commonly called the Fatal Five, are:

* Speeding

* Drink or drug driving

* Seatbelt use

* Dangerous road users

* Distracted drivers

The officer in charge of the SA Police Traffic Support Branch, Superintendent Bob Gray said police know that changing driver behaviour in relation to these factors will lower the road toll, and the number of serious injury crashes that have such a terrible impact each year on South Australian roads.

“Ultimately drivers who ignore these factors are making a choice to disregard their own, or someone else’s safety,” he said.

“Every time they make that choice, they create the risk that a police officer will have to go and impart terrible news to a family.

“Police will be on the roads throughout the festive season doing our part for road safety, so today I’m asking motorists to work with us to ensure we all stay safe and sound this summer.”

During the operation, which runs until January 1, police will have a high-visibility presence at locations with the highest traffic volumes or on roads that analysis has shown pose the greatest risk.

IMAGES: Police will also be using postcards to highlight the road safety message this summer:

Operation Safe Holidays, is just one of a range of ways SA Police focus on community safety and crime prevention during the festive season.

In addition to highlighting issues around road safety, police are keen to encourage people to take steps to protect their families, homes and personal property.

A colouring competition for children under the age of 14 has been launched online (closing Friday 21 December), and a series of social media reminders will be encouraging the community to ensure their homes, vehicles and boats are appropriately secured.

Safety on the water is also highlighted during the festive season, with police from the Water Operations section having a strong presence on the River Murray from now, through the Christmas and New Year period.

By the Numbers:

Road fatalities

2018: 73 to date

Same time in 2017: 94

Five year average: 93

Analysis of the past 5 years between the dates of 15 December and 1 January (2013 to 2017) shows there were 26 fatalities, 178 serious injuries and a total of 1186 casualty crashes (fatality, serious injury and injuries treated by a doctor) during this period.

State-wide analysis of crashes during these dates indicate about:

* 73 per cent of all fatalities occurred in rural Local Service Areas

* 55 per cent of all serious injuries occurred in rural Local Service Areas

* 33 per cent of all rural casualty crashes occurred in Hills Fleurieu Local Service Area

* 27 per cent of all metropolitan casualty crashes occurred in the Eastern District

/Public Release. View in full here.