Minister pledges more traffic police

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

The Labor Government’s pre-election promise to put more dedicated traffic police onto regional roads to save lives will likely be rolled out in the next 12 months.

At the launch of Road Safety Week for the Great Southern in Albany yesterday, Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the creation of the Regional Enforcement Unit would give police a vital increased presence on the roads.

“We do think there needs to be a strong visible police presence on the roads, that’s why we announced the regional enforcement unit to complement other local policing presence on the roads,” she said.

“We do know that a visual police presence is a deterrent for people.

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“People need to get the message that if they speed, they run a good chance of getting caught.

“There will be an enhanced police traffic enforcement presence over Road Safety Week and then in addition to that, over the course of the next year or so, we are going to be rolling out that increased presence.”

Ms Roberts said it was yet to be determined if the unit would include more traffic police dedicated to each district. “The details of that are being worked out with the Commissioner of police but they will be a mobile unit there to complement local efforts,” she said.

The Great Southern road toll stands at three after the death of Sri Lankan man Kasun Niroshan Ferdinand, who lost control of his Mazda sedan and crashed into a tree west of Denmark last week.

At this time last year, 18 people had died on our roads. During 2016, there were 27 fatal road crashes resulting in 32 deaths in the Great Southern policing district.

Ms Roberts said 85 per cent of those crashes occurred in 110km/h speed zones. “They are the roads we need people to really drive at the limit on and to take extra care,” she said.

Great Southern police district acting Superintendent Mark Twamley said a larger police presence on the roads should be expected by drivers during Road Safety Week from May 8-14.

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