Fatality-free run on region’s roads

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
A P Plater escaped serious injury from this crash on December 21.
Camera IconA P Plater escaped serious injury from this crash on December 21. Credit: Great Southern Police

Police are pleased with driver behaviour over Christmas and New Year, especially on country roads, with no fatal crashes.

The preliminary total of 158 deaths last year — including 99 in the country and 18 in the Great Southern — is below the 161 deaths in 2017 and is the lowest number of road deaths in WA since records began in 1961.

Great Southern District Superintendent Ian Clarke said while there were 18 deaths on country roads last year compared to 15 in 2017, it was great to see a fatality-free holiday break.

“I think country driving is more dangerous than driving in the metro areas, we have higher speeds and different roads to what people may be used to,” he said.

“When a mistake is made or happens — at a higher speed — the outcome can be potentially catastrophic.

“We didn’t have any fatalities on our roads in the Great Southern, which is encouraging to see. The behaviour by the vast majority of road users was good.”

He said it was pleasing that the State’s road toll was lower than previous years.

“It’s encouraging to see, any reduction of death is wonderful to see. It means less families are going to be traumatised but we still have too many deaths,” he said.

“It’s something we can’t take our attention away from — road safety still remains a massive trauma to the community, so we are hoping for a great and safe year.”

On New Year’s Eve, Denmark police stopped a 17-year-old P-plate driver who was charged with drink-driving resulting in immediate suspension.

“It’s a decision that person has made being very aware of all the facts — in this day in age there is no excuse and it’s as simple as that,” Supt Clarke said.

“There is education that starts in primary school about road safety and if people are making poor decisions on the roads then I think it’s time to have a sit-down and have a reflection about their life.” He said despite large crowds on New Year’s Eve in Albany and Bremer Bay there were no major incidents or arrests.

On December 31, Wagin police seized a large quantity of drugs from a vehicle stop.

The driver was charged with possessing drugs with intent to sell and unlawful possession of a quantity of cash.

Cannabis, ecstasy, MDMA, cocaine and amphetamines were seized. Double demerits remain in place until midnight Sunday.

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