Protect our P-platers with targeted campaign

Tuesday 07 February, 2023

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to fund a targeted social media campaign, educating our most inexperienced road users on the consequences of risk-taking behaviour after another shocking P-plate incident involving leader David Speirs.

The call for more awareness follows a tragic start to the year on South Australian roads, with a shocking 16 lives lost – with almost a third of those fatalities involving P-plate drivers. Seven P-plate drivers have been seriously injured.

Leader of the Opposition David Speirs recently experienced poor P-plater behaviour firsthand while travelling to the flood affected Murraylands – with a car displaying red P-plates dangerously tailgating his vehicle all while honking excessively and swerving.

The matter has been reported to SA Police.

“Many young and inexperienced drivers think they’re invincible behind the wheel, but sadly the road statistics paint a very different and tragic story,” Mr Speirs said.

“P-platers are greatly over-represented when it comes to trauma on South Australian roads, and it’s terrible almost a third of deadly crashes this year involved drivers with a provisional licence.

“Unfortunately, I witnessed the irresponsible antics of a P-plater on my way to visit Mannum firsthand, with a Ford sedan coming dangerously close to our car over and over again.

“It was a shocking reminder that some young drivers have a long way to go when it comes to respect and safety on our roads. It was a miracle that no one was hurt.”

Shadow Minister for Road Safety Vincent Tarzia said we must encourage P-platers to do better, not only to protect themselves but other road users.

“We know young South Australians are big consumers of social media, so this is the best and quickest way to target them with a road safety campaign,” Mr Tarzia said.

“We’ve had one of our deadliest starts to the year on South Australian roads – and almost a third of those fatalities involved P-platers.

“Getting your driver’s licence is a rite of passage, but we know the first year of driving unsupervised is one of the riskiest times in a person’s driving life.

“We’re calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to fund a targeted, quick-fire social media campaign so we can get the road safety message through to young drivers sooner rather than later.

“It’s also troubling after South Australia’s horror start to the year on our roads that there is no sign of a Road Safety Action Plan from the Malinauskas Labor Government.

“This important Plan outlines what actions authorities will take to reduce serious road trauma and was supposed to be released last year - but concerningly, it’s nowhere to be found.

“Clearly, the Malinauskas Labor Government needs to make road safety a bigger priority, because right now it appears to be taking a back seat.”