Distraction has emerged as a key issue in road crashes in South Australia as the state heads into the busy Christmas-New Year period.

The annual safety campaign will kick off on Saturday and run until January 3.

Over the same period last year, 10 people were killed on the state’s road and 31 were seriously injured.

Distraction was a factor in almost 30 per cent of those incidents and has been found to the most common cause of deaths and injuries during the holiday period over the past five years.

“The message is very simple, when you’re driving, just drive,” Superintendent Bob Gray said.

“Do not look at mobile phones, even for GPS purposes, do not be distracted by children in the car, and do not take your eyes off the road for any reason.”

Supt Gray said Operation Safe Holidays would try to ensure this Christmas was memorable for everyone for all the right reasons.

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As well as distraction, it will target speeding, drink and drug driving, seatbelt use and dangerous driving.

Police Minister Vincent Tarzia also urged motorists to be mindful of fatigue.

“We’re asking motorists to really think about their holiday this year and plan ahead so they know when and where they will take breaks,” he said.

“Stop every two hours for at least 15 minutes and share the drive with others.

“Our regional towns are some of the best in Australia and have so much to offer. Make a stop, enjoy the sights, revive and survive.”

AAP

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