Home' Plains Producer : PP_130306 Contents Plains Producer, Wednesday March 6, 2013
Local road safety strategy
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CAR OF THE WEEK
Police track graffiti vandals
BALAKLAVA police officer Mitchell Henry outside a tagged shed at Ralli Park.
SEVERAL buildings in the Balaklava
sports precinct at Ralli Park were
vandalised with graffiti last week.
Local police confirmed the tags were
similar to those painted on buildings at
Balaklava High School last week.
The damage was widespread across
a number of facilities at Ralli Park,
including the Balaklava Fitness Centre,
Ralli Pavilion, quite a few smaller sheds
and water tanks.
The graffiti was done late at night
on Wednesday or in the early hours of
Police have several strong leads and
encouraged local residents to report any
activity they believe to be suspicious.
Phone Balaklava police on 8862 1144.
ONE elderly road user per month is dy-
ing on South Australian roads on average,
according to Motor Accident Commission
(MAC) statistics reveal.
The statistic surfaced after a 78-year-old
man from Smithfield Plains died last week
on Port Wakefield Road in a crash involving
a motorcycle and a B-double semi-trailer.
For the period 2008 to 2012, people aged
70 and above accounted for 78 of the 533
deaths on South Australian roads, or about
15 per cent of total road deaths.
Considering this age group currently
accounts for only 11.2 per cent of the popu-
lation, this means they are over represented
in the road fatalities category.
MAC chief executive officer, Jerome
Maguire, said as our community ages and the
pool of mature road users gets increasingly
larger, the need to focus our road safety ef-
forts to address the risks to older people will
become increasingly important.
“For good reason, road safety authorities
have traditionally placed an increased focus
on the younger generation,” Mr Maguire said.
“In the coming decades however, the
number of elderly road users will increase
considerably and so too their proportion of
“When involved in traffic crashes the risk
of severe injury is considerably higher for
older road users because of their physical
“Family members should be proactive
in ensuring the safety of their loved ones
on the road, especially if they are impaired
with a condition that may hinder their driv-
“Family members are in the best position
to convince the elderly to go for a regular
medical assessment and check on the impor-
tant physical abilities required for driving.
MAC also provides funding to South
Australian police for the delivery of Road
Safety Education (RSE) to older road uses.
“The funding allows people to take part
in important RSE in their respective com-
munity group,” Mr Maguire said.
“The education is important to respect-
fully inform the elderly about the functional
limitations that go with aging, and the aids
available to continue driving a car safely for
as long as possible.
“The RSE educates our older road users
about recent changes in traffic situations and
rules, and offers advice and guidance to deal
with problem situations,” Mr Maguire said.
LOCAL police are looking to reform the
defunct Road Safety Group and will be gaug-
ing community support in coming weeks.
Balaklava Brevet Sergeant, Mitchell Henry,
said there was some interest in restarting the
community group, which has been inactive
for several years.
“Ultimately, a lot of talk around town about
a lot of little things like signage, road markings,
general safety, has popped up, so it could be
another voice for the district to bring up safety
issues in the Wakefield regional area,” he said.
Bv. Sgt. Mitchell has previously worked
on a traffic-based posting before moving to
“It was all about initiatives to go out there
and make change, be involved with neigh-
bourhood groups to try to make their areas
safer,” he said.
He believes road safety groups can be
“Certainly, as long as there is enough push
and want in each little area,” Sgt Henry said.
The group would work within the bounda-
ries of Wakefield Regional Council.
“We want all the areas in the district to
want some changes to infrastructure for safety
reasons,” Sgt Henry said.
The former group still has about $4000 in
its account, left untouched since becoming
defunct a few years ago.
It is believed most of the funding came from
major sponsor, the Department of Planning,
Transport and Infrastructure.
Sgt Henry said the funding should be put
to use rather than lie dormant, being chipped
away by various bank fees. “I don’t know
how it has been raised but that amount of
funds is associated with the group, so it’s a
good stepping stone with either general driver
awareness – or driver development for younger
kids would also be a good one,” he said.
In previous years, Balaklava Lions club as
a member of the local road safety group was
involved with organsing school-based driver
There are a number of initiatives the Road
Safety Group could look at starting.
“Essentially, they are aimed at driver
awareness, fatigue management and things
like that,” Sgt Henry said.
“A thought has come through regarding the
Learner and Provisional plate drivers, sourcing
the people who may not get the opportunity
to get some practise under their belt.
“Maybe (consider) devising some sort
of strategy or plan to get those people some
more attention in terms of qualified driving
instructors and things like that.
“The big picture is to try to reduce the
number of crashes resulting in serious injury
Sgt Henry hoped to have some form of
direction for the group in the near future.
“Hopefully, no more than a couple of
months,” he said.
“We will be trying to touch base with com-
munity groups to try to find some common
ground, and get someone to be the voice of
those towns as well.
“If we’ve got enough community interest
and backing to get a committee rolling and
some areas to help, the sooner the better.”
Aged drivers the new concern
THE Local GovernmentAssociation (LGA)
has welcomed the announcement of an inde-
pendent panel to conduct a community-driven
review of South Australia’s planning system.
LGA president, Mayor Kym McHugh, said
the State’s 20 year planning system needed a
revamp and local government looked forward
to working with the panel and the State govern-
ment on its planning reform agenda.
“We particularly welcome the independ-
ent panel, chaired by Brian Hayes QC and
will look to discuss where our key planning
issues fit with the government’s direction for
Adelaide and regional SouthAustralia,” Mayor
“The Development Act is one of the most
complicated and probably one of the most
amended pieces of State legislation. This makes
if very hard for the public and developers to
understand and provides a challenge even for
councils and Members of Parliament to keep
up with it. A review is overdue.”
The LGA is currently addressing 12 key
planning issues and developing resources to as-
sist councils to prepare for and manage growth
and undertake planning functions.
PROSPECT mayor David O’Loughlin will
be the next president of the LGA.
Mayor O’Loughlin was elected unopposed
last month to take over from current president
Mayor Kym McHugh when his term of office
expires in April.
The LGA President is nominated each two
years from country and metropolitan councils,
• Wakefield Regional Council mayor, James
Maitland, remains as an LGA vice president,
representing the Central Local Government
Region of Councils, which he chairs.
New president named
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