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Safety flags now required for 4WDs crossing the Simpson Desert

News article |

Visitor safety in South Australia’s outback parks will be further improved with a new mandatory condition for vehicles travelling in the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Simpson Desert Conservation Park.

Posted 01 April 2014.

In line with the parks re-opening on 16 March, all 4WDs are now required to attach tall, high visibility flags when crossing the Simpson Desert while motorbikes will be required to drive with their lights on at all times while travelling.

Vehicle safety flags have always been recommended for visitors undertaking the iconic 4WD Simpson Desert crossing but the terrain and increased numbers of travellers has elevated the safety flag condition from recommended to mandatory.

Cresting dunes with safety flags on the front bullbar and with lights on, gives people more chances of seeing each other and avoiding what could be, disastrous accidents.

More than 12,000 people crossed the Simpson Desert in 2013, and the volume of vehicles and motorbikes has increased the risks, while near misses are also on the rise.

This 4WD experience, is on many enthusiasts ‘bucket list’ and while it has historically been a journey undertaken by the experienced, many travellers now are underprepared and without experience in remote area travel.

Consultation and endorsement with key stakeholders including Friends of Parks groups, 4WD SA, local businesses, industry and interstate national parks services contributed to the formation of the safety flag requirements.

Flags that meet the new requirements will be available for purchase at Mt Dare, Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Innamincka and a widespread communication campaign will spread the word to visitors.

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