I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Industry and Trade, representing the Minister for Police, a question about the monitoring of the South-Eastern Freeway
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: In an article published today in The Mount Barker Courier entitled ‘Freeway drivers cause 12 crashes in 15 days’, the following comments were made:
Police have reported 12 crashes in 15 days on the South-Eastern Freeway—a month after an operation targeting irresponsible motorists on the road was abandoned because police resources were stretched.
It goes on:
Officers found motorists were still speeding and tailgating—the main causes of the recent spate of crashes. . . Sergeant Brian Schmidt said Operation Freeway was supposed to run during September but ‘didn’t go to plan’ because the station’s traffic section was ‘busy’ with larger priorities.
My questions to the minister are:
1. Does the government acknowledge that a number of police units around the state are under resourced?
2. What priority does the government place on road safety on the South-Eastern Freeway?
3. Will the government place a higher priority on the bad behaviour of road users in South Australia?
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Industry and Trade): I will ask the Minister for Police to get a report from the Police Commissioner about the allocation of resources in those areas and bring back a response.
Tuesday 24 May 2005
In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (27 October 2004).
In reply to Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (27 October 2004).
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: The Minister for Police has provided the following information:
The Government and the South Australia Police (SAPOL) are committed to ensuring road safety exists across the State which includes the Freeway. By way of example, the Government recently created the Road Safety Advisory Council and its sub groups and has since implemented many of the recommendations from this Council.
The Government is also active in terms of road safety marketing campaigns.
A National Road Safety Strategy 2001-10 has been developed and South Australia is a party to this strategy. In addition, South Australia has developed the South Australian Road Safety Strategy 2003-10 and has set targets of achieving less than 1 000 serious injuries sustained as a result of road trauma and, to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in the number of fatalities per 1000 population by 2010.
The Commissioner of Police has advised the Hills-Murray Police Local Service Area (LSA) is primarily responsible for policing the South Eastern Freeway from the Heysen Tunnel to Murray Bridge.
The priorities of traffic personnel attached to this LSA are traffic enforcement and traffic management.
Hills-Murray LSA personnel are also supported in terms of traffic management on the Freeway by other SAPOL sections including the Southern Traffic Operations Motorcycle Section, Traffic Operations Unit and Police Security Services Branch for the deployment of speed cameras.
The Hills-Murray LSA has conducted numerous operations targeting traffic offenders including those on the Freeway. One such recent operation entitled Operation Freeway was specifically aimed at tailgating (follow too close), lane behaviour, restraints, road rage and speeding.
In addition to the specific LSA Operation Freeway, a number of State-wide traffic campaigns that include policing on the Freeway have either recently been completed or are in operation. For example, Operation Safe Hills related to driver behaviour in the Adelaide Hills, Operation Figurehead targeted the fatal five and Operation Ontario targeted number plates.
The Government will continue to place a high priority on road safety.
The Minister for Transport has provided the following information:
This Government places a high priority on road safety. The South-Eastern Freeway presents an excellent example of this.
Recently there has been a major upgrade completed to the Adelaide to Crafers Section of the South-Eastern Freeway to improve the safety for road users and enable drivers to be better informed about road conditions and the road environment. This has been achieved by the installation of a $1.7 million Advanced Traffic Management System.
The key feature of this system is to provide traffic control by using Variable Message Signs and Variable Speed Limit Signs. The use of Variable Speed Limit Signs is a first for South Australia, with their use being relatively new in Australia.