What’s killing road users in SA?

2 Jan

Take a look at these two graphics recently issued by the RAA. They detail what has caused road deaths in SA on both Metro and Rural roads.

SAPOL continue their purge on speeding motorists, particularly targeting motorcyclists in the Adelaide Hills. They are so desperate to maintain their revenue raising, that covert cameras are now common especially in and around Strathalbyn. Paris Creek, Macclesfield and Ashbourne Rds particularly come in for special attention. We are continually told that speed is the problem. The trouble is that their speed cameras are a cash cow that keeps on giving, so changing their mind is not likely to happen in the near future.

Looking at the above two graphics, speed does not seems to be the problem. Driver inattention, which includes everything from texting and talking on your mobile, to personal grooming and changing your music seems to be the main killer accounting for 185 deaths in total during the period 2013-17. According to an RAA spokesman, looking away from the road for just 3 seconds while you’re travelling at 60km/h means you travel 50 metres blind.

I’ve done a fair amount of riding in the Hills over the Christmas period and am shocked at the number of car drivers who are having difficulty keeping to their side of the road when a solid white line or double lines are running down the centre of the road. This is very common on the Greenhill Rd up track, which is the normal route I take to escape the city. This is also a common route for our club rides too. I’ve followed many cars up and down these roads, the vast majority are unable to keep to their side of the road and many ride their brakes all the way down the hills instead of selecting the correct gear.

Maybe the police should target driver behaviour on our roads – mobile phone usage (inattention) and hanging wheels on the wrong side of unbroken white lines (failing to keep left) being my recommendation. One day a motorcyclist is going to come a cropper with one of these careless car drivers. Meanwhile motorcyclists should take special care on these roads by NOT hugging the centre line on both left and right hand bends. Ensure that you are in the correct gear and that the bike does not run away causing you to ride the brakes particularly on downhill runs.


One Reply to “What’s killing road users in SA?”

  1. It is interesting that the major cause for fatalities both Metro & Rural is due to Inattention.

    IMO this is due to the low speed limits posted on especially rural roads these days. Basically it is generally boring riding/driving at the low speed limits posted. You don’t have to ride/drive with modern bikes & cars so much because they have so much more capability than performing at the posted speed limit.
    And what happens when you get bored (riding/driving), you do not put in the effort required to operate the vehicle and negotiate what the road throws at you. You become inattentive. You never develop any vehicle and road handling skills & experience and when something goes wrong as a result of inattentiveness, it’s game over.

    Basically the posted speed limits these days reflect the brain dead bureaucrats who determine the speed limits (supposedly to save our lives) which in turn is turning motorist brain dead, and it seems, sometimes just dead.

    Of course the above does not apply to the Classic Owners members who do the mid-week ride from my observations 🙂 While we might be getting on in years, we actually ride with plenty of attentiveness & purpose. That is probably why we have got to the age we have. We need to be fearful of those other road users who are not paying due attention i.e they are not ‘driving’ but are more a passenger.

    The cynic in me says that the speed limits are one step lower than the should be. They do not reflect the 85th percentile speed of motorists using the particular road or section.
    Could this by chance be the Governments way of generating revenue. If the speed limits reflected the 85th percentile speed, very few motorist would be fined. Hmmmm…….

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