Drink drivers under spotlight as cold, hard truth laid bare at mortuary

Friday 26 March, 2021

Selfish drink drivers have played a part in developing a new powerful and confronting road safety campaign that has today been unveiled by the Marshall Liberal Government and SAPOL’s Media Road Safety Unit.

The hard-hitting campaign ­‘Drink Drivers are Selfish Pricks’ – necessary to warn motorists of the dangers of operating vehicles while drunk – was launched in a mortuary to reiterate the devastating consequences of irresponsible road use.

Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia said 17 lives were tragically lost in 2020 because of drink driving.

“This campaign is based on the selfish insights of drink drivers who have put their life, and the lives of others, at risk on our roads,” Minister Tarzia said.

“Research shows that convenience is the main reason drink drivers gamble on getting behind the wheel rather than using alternative and safer transport options.

“Over the past five years, 14% (54) of all lives lost on our roads have been caused by drinking driving. A further 8% (123) of serious injuries involved a driver who was over the legal alcohol limit.

“That is simply not good enough. South Australians must do better or risk a one-way trip to the mortuary. Let that sink in – there is no coming back.”

Campaign research revealed drink drivers were motivated to risk their life because:

  • They wanted to have the car at home in the morning.
  • They wanted to sleep in their own bed.
  • They didn’t want to pay for a taxi or ride share service.
  • They didn’t think they’d get caught.

The new campaign will launch this weekend, appearing across TV, print, radio, outdoor and digital platforms.

Men aged between 20-40 are most represented in drink driving statistics and are the main targets of the no-holds-barred approach.

The phrase ‘Drink Drivers are Selfish Pricks’ was extensively tested on representatives of the target audience and deemed to be influential, impactful and likely to prompt self-reflection and behavior change.

South Australians were also surveyed to determine if the phrase was too offensive to appear in the public domain. Results showed overwhelming support for the concept with positive responses to the direct language.

Classified PG by ClearAds (the expert body that examines commercials against advertising rules and regulations), the advertisement will appear on TV during appropriate time slots. An alternative version of the advertisement will appear in outdoor settings with the word Prick obscured.

Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott, Officer in Charge State Operations Service, said the campaign supports SAPOL’s zero tolerance approach to drivers who choose to endanger lives.

“Consistent education and enforcement have seen a steady reduction in drink driving offences over many years however, drink driving remains a significant contributor to lives lost and serious injuries on our roads,” AC Parrott said.

“This campaign speaks directly to the minority of people who still make the selfish decision to drive after drinking. It addresses the fact that this behavior is inexcusable and can have catastrophic consequences for not only the driver but a whole community of people.”