RAC wants regional road initiative

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser
The highway near Arthur River.
Camera IconThe highway near Arthur River. Credit: Supplied

RAC is calling on the State Gov-ernment to honour its election promise of investing in road safety in the Great Southern when it hands down its Budget on Thursday.

With 31 deaths on Great Southern roads in 2016, RAC is hopeful the Budget will fund the creation of a regional enforcement unit within WA Police and increase the scale of breath and drug tests in the region.

RAC general manager corporate affairs Will Golsby outlined the troubling statistics on WA’s regional road toll.

“Our State has a serious road safety problem and the situation is worse for those living in the regions,” he said

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“Last year, 195 people died on WA roads — 120 in regional WA and 31 in the Great Southern.

“That made 2016 the Great Southern’s worst road toll in at least seven years, tripling its road toll from 10 in 2010 to 31 in 2016.”

Mr Golsby said improving regional road safety was imperative.

“RAC welcomed WA Labor’s election commitments to create a regional enforcement unit and introduce more drug and alcohol testing,” he said.

“RAC looks forward to seeing how these commitments will be funded in the State Budget. Funding for safer roads, cars and road users in the State Budget is critical if we are to address the escalating economic and social costs brought about by road trauma.

“Increasing the perceived risk of detection can affect behaviour change — enforcement must be an absolute priority for the State Government in an effort to reduce road trauma.”

Mr Golsby also highlighted the need for more drug testing in WA.

“Western Australia drug tests far fewer drivers than other States,” he said.

“New South Wales conducts 97,000 tests per year, equivalent to approximately one test per 78 persons.

“Victoria conducts 100,000, equivalent to one test per 59 persons. South Australia conducts 40,000, making their ratio one test per 40 persons.

“Western Australia conducts 24,986, making our ratio one test per 104 persons.”

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