Mr PASIN (Barker): September is Rural Road Safety Month. Sadly, 2022 has been a terrible year on Australian roads. In fact, last year’s national road toll was exceeded by July this year. Each year, rural and regional road deaths account for almost two-thirds of the national road toll.
Unfortunately, this includes constituents of mine in Barker, such as Izzy Hancock, who was taken from us far too soon. Izzy was to celebrate her 19th birthday on the day following the incident that claimed her life on a rural road just east of Bordertown in South Australia’s south-east. My sincerest condolences are with Izzy’s family and friends, who are grieving their unimaginable loss.
But it’s a sobering reminder to all of us to take road safety seriously. Unfortunately, South Australia’s rural and regional road toll stands at 31 so far this year, while young drivers account for 13 of the state’s total road toll of 54 so far this year.
Young road users aged 16 to 24 living in regional Australia are around three times more likely to be involved in a crash in which they lose their life or are seriously injured, compared with metropolitan residents of the same age. As Rural Road Safety Month draws to a close, I pledge not only to be a safe driver on the roads but also to continue to advocate for road funding to make our roads safer.