What the Law says
Visitors intending to drive in South Australia must ensure they are driving legally and safely. Visitors must observe the road rules and driver’s licence requirements that apply in South Australia. For more information visit the mylicence website.
Many visitors come to Australia to experience the wide open spaces. What they may not realise, is how big Australia really is and that the distances between townships vary significantly, with distances between major cities even greater. In this arid continent, the conditions can be very hot and dry, with fuel and food not always available at regular intervals.
Compared with their country of origin, international visitors may be faced with a number of challenges on South Australia’s roads, including:
Road crash facts
In the past 5 years (2010-2014) in South Australia, crashes involving overseas drivers accounted for less than 1 percent of all serious injury crashes and around 3.5 percent of fatal crashes. In total 10 serious injury and 17 fatal crashes were reported over the past 5 years.
Nine out of the ten serious injury crashes occurred in metropolitan Adelaide, while 16 out of the 17 fatal crashes occurred in rural South Australia, predominantly on roads with a speed limit of 100 km/h and over.
Particular areas of concern for overseas visits driving in rural areas include driver fatigue, failure to wear seatbelts, overturning of vehicles, head on and angle crashes.
Safety tips for visitors
The department provides access to resources for overseas visitors, students and new residents including:
Companies wishing to help provide this information to South Australian visitor can order these resources from the mylicence website.
Watson, B, Tunnicliff, D, Manderson, J, O’Connor, E, Stefaniw, M, Fraine, G, & Samuels, S 2004, The safety of international visitors on Australian roads, Monograph 2, Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, Carseldine, Queensland.
The South Australian Registrar of Motor Vehicles will refuse the registration of light vehicles fitted with defective Takata ‘Alpha’ type airbag inflators from 1 November 2018 until they are rectified to ensure the safety of all road users.
Older vehicles are over-represented in fatal vehicle crashes and the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatality crash is increasing.
Preliminary works for the upgrade of the Main North Road intersection with Dalkeith Road and Smith Road are currently underway, with Telstra early works to commence from Wednesday 5 September.
Road users are advised the Anzac Highway/Brighton Road/Tapleys Hill Road intersection will be closed to all traffic for resurfacing works on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, 13 – 15 August, between 9pm and 6am. Speed and land restrictions will also be in place between 7pm-9pm prior to the full closure.