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Think first then dial

Plan, Prepare and Prevent for safer travelling in remote areas

14 Apr 2023 11:55am

As families around the state look toward to taking holidays in the upcoming school term break, South Australia Police are calling on travellers to make sure they plan and prepare for their trip in advance.

Many people will be packing up their cars to embark on road trips across the state, and this is a timely reminder to ensure your vehicle is equipped for the type of journey you plan to take. Police are asking travellers to check their vehicles are in good working condition, that their tyres have adequate tread, all lights are operational and the vehicle has been regularly maintained.

“In the past, the South Australian outback and other regional areas have had fatal consequences for people who simply haven’t prepared for their journey properly”, said Acting Assistant Commissioner John De Candia from SAPOL’s Security and Emergency Management Service.

Today, South Australia Police is launching two new travel safety guides, one for general holiday safety and the other focusing on remote travel.

The holiday safety guide will provide prevention tips when planning a holiday and include information on vehicle security, personal safety, road safety, water safety and remote travel safety.

The smaller pocket sized quick-tip guide for remote travel provides information on planning a trip into the outback, tips for ensuring you have sufficient resources, and alternate communications if you find yourself out of phone range. It also covers what to do if you have a mechanical issue, the importance of monitoring current and predicted weather conditions, and having prior knowledge of the areas you will be travelling in.

Most importantly, it covers what to do if you become stranded and are waiting to be rescued.

“Making sure you have adequate medical supplies, learning and practicing basic first aid, checking in regularly with the Bureau of Meteorology, learning basic mechanical skills and carrying extra food and water are just some simple tips that will help you if you become stranded in the outback”.

In 2022, South Australian Police deployed its aircraft services to 14 search and land rescues, where more than 120 daylight hours were used to search for stranded travellers in difficult outback terrain. Searches of this nature include utilising resources from SAPOL’s Special Task and Rescue Group, police from local service areas, State Emergency Services, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, National Parks and Wildlife and also local land owners.

Police found that most of these travellers were not prepared for mechanical failures, weather conditions and flash flooding, and didn’t realise they were heading into areas of poor mobile phone reception. In some instances, people have become lost after following old maps and taking incorrect roads, and also been involved in crashes as they weren’t familiar with driving on these outback and regional roads.

“I’m asking all South Australians to plan and prepare for their holiday travel and hopefully by doing so, they will prevent themselves from becoming stranded or lost in remote regions of our State”

“Bad planning could cost you your life.”

For more information on travel safety advice please go to the below links.

Remote Travel Quick Tips  Remote-Travel-Safety.pdf (police.sa.gov.au)

Holiday Safety  Holiday-Safety.pdf (police.sa.gov.au)