Why Tailem Bend’s water tower is lit up yellow
The Coorong council is shining a light on road safety this week.
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Tailem Bend’s iconic water tower has been bathed in yellow light this week to draw attention to an important cause.
Every year, more than 1200 people die on Australian roads, and another 44,000 are seriously injured.
Eleven people were killed in the Murray Mallee last year alone, and 46 seriously hurt.
This week – National Road Safety Week – we’re all being encouraged to make sure that everyone survives on our roads, and to think and talk about road safety with our families and friends.
Coorong Mayor Paul Simmons welcomed the opportunity to start conversations by lighting up the tower, thanks to an $8900 grant from the state Department for Infrastructure and Transport.
“Many of our district’s towns are situated on busy highways which have been the scene of some devastating road accidents in the past,” he said.
“Road safety is such an important message to promote, not only to residents, but also to visitors who travel through our towns.
“We want our communities to stay safe.”
Illuminating the water tower was one way of catching people’s attentions without distracting passing motorists in the same way that a more detailed artwork might, he suggested.
A plan to paint a mural on the tower was abandoned in 2019 after hundreds of locals campaigned against the idea.
Instead, in this case, local electrician Mike Bristow rigged up three 540-watt lights to shine on the tower.
The lights will be able to be reused in different colours for different occasions should the council wish.
Campaign will extend across South Australia
The water tower is just one of a number of landmarks across South Australia which are being illuminated for the cause this week.
State Local Government and Regional Roads Minister Geoff Brock said it was an important one.
“Country communities continue to be disproportionately affected by road trauma, with historically over half of all crashes where lives are lost occurring on regional and remote roads,” he said.
Improving the state’s roads could only be part of the answer, he said – drivers needed to curtail behaviour that led to preventable crashes, too.
“Simple changes like always sticking to the speed limit, driving to the conditions, taking regular rest breaks, and making sure you pack your patience when heading into our regions makes all the difference to ensuring everyone gets home safely,” he said.
More information: www.thinkroadsafety.sa.gov.au/home.
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