The Opposition will put driver incentives on the table for young motorists to reward responsible behaviour and help save lives – a sensible and motivational initiative following yet another tragic death on South Australian roads.
On Thursday, a 69-year-old man sadly passed away following a crash at Northfield, bringing SA’s road toll to 72 – surpassing last year’s total number of 71 lives lost only seven months into 2023.
At the current rate, South Australia’s road toll could reach 121 lives lost by the end of this year – a tragic outcome not seen for almost two decades.
The Liberal Party policy would reward provisional drivers who achieve three years of offence free driving by covering the cost of a full licence renewal in the following year, saving them $71.
If successful, the incentive scheme could be expanded to other cohorts of motorists.
The Opposition is also calling for a targeted strategy to identify and implement urgent road maintenance to improve driving conditions – with a focus on the regions - supporting the RAA’s calls for $750 million to tackle the state’s deteriorating road network.
The Opposition also wants to see more timely crash data reporting to help boost rapid responses to emerging road toll trends.
Over the past five years, 45 deaths and 279 serious injuries have been attributed to P-Plate drivers.
Shadow Minister for Road Safety, Vincent Tarzia, said research conducted by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) found rewards and incentives can improve behaviour amongst young drivers.
“We call out and penalise bad behaviour on our roads to improve driver safety, but to help curb road deaths, the Liberal Party believes motorists who do the right thing deserve a reward for keeping themselves and others safe,” Mr Tarzia said.
“We know young drivers are consistently overrepresented in the road toll because of their inexperience behind the wheel or on a motorcycle.
“If elected in 2026, the Liberal Party will reward well behaved P-Plate drivers with a free one-year, full licence renewal to acknowledge their good behaviour and blemish-free driving record over a three-year period.
“We know this strategy has been successful in other states and expect the result to be the same here, and it could pave the way for additional incentives for other cohorts of motorists.
“Given the tragic state of our road toll, we offer bipartisanship to the Malinauskas Labor Government to adopt this policy immediately. There is nothing more important than saving lives and reducing serious injuries on our roads.”
Shadow Minister for Regional Roads, Adrian Pederick, said the Malinauskas Labor Government has failed to provide new money for regional road upgrades such as the duplication of the Dukes, Sturt and Augusta highways.
“A huge cloud hovers above the future of crucial regional road projects that will help keep drivers safe on their travels throughout the state, but these builds will come to a grinding halt if Peter Malinauskas doesn’t prioritise our regional communities,” Mr Pederick said.
“There are also huge fears other projects will not go ahead – including the Hahndorf Bypass Project, the Truro Freight Bypass and the Princes Highway Upgrades – because of the Federal Government’s 90-day review of South Australia’s infrastructure projects.
“That review was completed last week, and South Australians deserve answers on whether these projects have been axed forever.”