Calls to curb a Christmas crisis on SA roads

Wednesday 20 December, 2023

Just five days out from Christmas – traditionally one of the busiest periods on South Australia’s roads – the Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to make road safety a higher priority.

New data shows South Australia has experienced the biggest increase in lives lost across the nation this year so far – with 109 lives lost compared to 66 at the same time last year.

SA is also one of just three states to record an increase in lives lost in 2023.

A 31-year-old man from Ceduna tragically became the latest South Australian to lose his life in a fatal road crash after his SUV and a truck collided on the Eyre Highway at Lincoln Gap, west of Port Augusta yesterday morning.


2023 to date

This time last year


South Australia




New South Wales












Western Australia








Northern Territory




Data available as of 19/12/2023

Throughout the year, the Liberal Opposition has called on the Malinauskas Labor Government to implement a number of practical solutions that could help ease SA’s escalating road toll, including:

  • expanding the Rider Safe program for motorcyclists to include an on-road training component,
  • covering the cost of a full licence renewal for P-Plate drivers who achieve three years of offence free driving,
  • a targeted road safety social media campaign for provisional drivers,
  • and a review of penalties including those for serious driving related offences.

Instead, Peter Malinauskas and Tom Koutsantonis have failed South Australians when it comes to road safety, overseeing $400 million worth of vital infrastructure cuts leaving projects like the Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Upgrade, Main South Road Productivity Package, Old Belair Road Upgrade, Onkaparinga Valley Road – Tiers Road-Nairne Road Intersection Upgrade and the Truro Freight Route on the road to nowhere.

Shadow Minister for Road Safety, Vincent Tarzia, said South Australia’s grim road statistics highlight the urgent need for action to curb our rising road toll.

“Christmas should be a time enjoyed with loved ones, but sadly it is one of the most dangerous times on our roads,” Mr Tarzia said.

“Any life lost is one too many – but to see a 65 per cent surge in our road toll this year is completely devastating.

“With lives at stake, now is not the time for Peter Malinauskas and Labor to put their feet up and relax – we need to see greater action to make sure South Australians are kept safe this festive season.

“The Liberals have put forward a number of practical initiatives throughout 2023 but Labor’s response has been lacklustre at best.

“Instead, what we have seen from Labor this year are major cuts to road projects that would actually improve safety for users.

“I want to urge all South Australians to take extra care and be responsible on the roads these holidays. Be patient, allow extra travel time and avoid distractions so all of us can enjoy a safe and merry Christmas.”