National Road Safety Week was officially launched in Mount Gambier’s city centre today, with an impactful display of empty chairs set up to mark the number of lives lost on the region’s roads in the past decade.
Sadly, 71 lives were lost on regional roads across SA last year – up from 64 in 2020. The number of people seriously injured on these roads also grew significantly from 310 to 343 in the same period.
RAA’s road safety expert Charles Mountain said the Mount Gambier display of 82 chairs represented the number of people who died on roads in the Limestone Coast region in the last 10 years, and was a solemn reminder of the impact this can have on a community.
“RAA hopes these symbols will make people reflect on the physical as well as emotional toll of road trauma on victims, their friends and families and the broader community,’’ Mr Mountain said.
“Sadly, SA Police figures show people living in regional and remote areas are over-represented in lives lost, which is one of the reasons why this year we are focusing on vulnerable road users.”
Empty chairs will also be positioned at its shops in Murray Bridge, Victor Harbour, Whyalla, and Renmark to represent lives lost in these regions as part of the week.
“We hope these displays truly highlight the tragic extent of lives lost across the state in the past decade,” Charles said.
National Road Safety Week is an annual initiative created by the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group to honour those who have lost their lives or have been injured on Australia’s roads.
To learn more about RAA’s 2022 National Road Safety Week campaign, visit daily.raa.com.au/nrsw