Not many of us can claim to be perfect drivers.
There might be some who religiously stick to the speed limit, some who keep left while not overtaking on the freeway, or some who merge correctly and happily share the road.
But the results of the recently concluded 2021/22 Operation Safe Hills clearly shows too many of us are far from ideal road users – and people are getting hurt and dying because of it.
Most of us will find ourselves speeding at some point in our lives, whether intentionally or by accident.
And while we might be tempted to justify to ourselves that ‘a few kilometers an hour over is okay’, research consistently shows that driving – even slightly – over the limit increases the risk of accidents, the seriousness of injury and the likelihood of death in the event of an accident.
For many road users in SA, speeding is clearly a habit.
But it’s a habit that needs to be broken, especially in the Hills.
Our roads carry inherent risks that many other regions in the State do not have, including winding roads, roaming animals and often poor weather conditions and treacherous surfaces.
Those dangers are reflected in the fact that the Hills/Fleurieu region has more road fatalities compared with other regions.
So it’s vital that we check ourselves and pull back from the brink when we’re tempted to creep over the limit.
It is disturbing to see that some drivers were clocked at about 90km/h above the speed limit during Operation Safe Hills.
There is no excuse for extreme speeders.
Our roads are not racecourses, and the would-be ‘racecar drivers’ on public roads are not only putting their own lives at risk, but the lives of others as well.
The impacts of dangerous driving are far-reaching and never go away.
When serious injuries or fatalities happen on our roads, it isn’t just a few lives potentially lost – it’s countless more lives ruined by a profound grief that those left behind will carry to their own graves.
Too many of us have lost loved ones to Hills roads and speeding is too often a contributor.
So, while the creeping speeders among us will do well to heed this warning and adjust our behavior on the road, extreme and deliberate speeders should feel the full force and penalty of the law.