Toll stands at 15 as fewer lives lost on region’s roads

John Dobson and Rourke WalshAlbany Advertiser

The Great Southern region’s 2017 road toll is less than half the 2016 figure, with 15 people killed.

The road toll climbed to 15 over the holiday period, with two men killed in separate crashes.

A 67-year-old Kelmscott man was killed when a grey Mitsubishi Magna left the Brookton Highway at Jelcobine and rolled several times on Christmas Day.

Major Crash investigators would like to speak to anyone who may have seen the Magna sedan travelling along the Brookton Highway during the early hours of Christmas morning.

It followed the death of a 65-year-old man on Hanrahan Road in Albany on Friday, December 22 after he was thrown from a motorcycle which collided with a Holden Cruze hatchback.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which closed the arterial road for more than two hours. In 2016, 32 people lost their lives on local roads — the worst toll in a decade.

Last year’s road toll brings the total number of people killed on Great Southern roads over the past decade to 127.

WA’s road toll sat at a preliminary figure of 154, the lowest since records began in 1961 — the previous lowest was 161 deaths in 2013 and 2015.

Regional deaths again made up a disproportionate number of fatalities, with 89 of the 154 recorded in 2017 on a country road.

Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron said the number of road deaths was going down, but bad driver behaviour could trigger another rise.

“We have seen some variations in the last couple of years,” he said.

“These fluctuations are behavioural. You look at what happened last year. It is no cause for complacency.”

Mr Cameron said this was little consolation for the families of those killed and injured each year.

“I do not think anyone accepts a loss on the road, particularly when it is someone you know,” he said.

“When someone does the wrong thing, if they are a little bit calmer and the speeds are more manageable, the consequence is less severe.”

RAC general manager of corporate affairs Will Golsby said regional deaths were again well above population ratios.

“Rural communities continue to be over-represented in road fatalities, with road users being five times more likely to be killed on regional roads in 2017,” he said.

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