The Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA) states that a 'road authority' cannot be held negligent for a failure to maintain, repair or renew a road; or to take other action to avoid or reduce the risk of harm that results from a failure to maintain, repair or renew a road [s 42].
Road authority means
Road means a street, road or thoroughfare to which public access is available to vehicles or pedestrians (or both), and includes
A council may still be liable if road signs are misleading and lead to an accident.
Where an accident occurs due to an animal on a road, it is up to the person who is injured to prove that the farmer or animal owner was negligent. The courts will look at the manner of driving and the nature and locality of the road, for example, if the vehicle was being driven recklessly in the circumstances. The courts will also consider the measures taken to confine or control the animal/s and will place a greater liability on the animal owner if the fences are in a bad state of repair or gates are left open, allowing the animal to escape onto the road [see Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA) s 18(4); Le Poidevan Industries Pty Ltd v Roberts SASC 2708; (1990) 11 MVR 570 and Clyne v Gulbin (1995) 65 SASR 397.] See also Injuries caused by other animals.