Call to in­vest in road safety

Great Southern Herald - - News - Tayler Neale

The RAC is calling on the State Gov­ern­ment 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, the RAC is hope­ful the Bud­get will fund the cre­ation of a re­gional en­force­ment unit within WA Po­lice and in­crease the scale of breathal­yser 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

“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 record 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.

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

“We look 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.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

The RAC want a re­gional en­force­ment unit within WA Po­lice.

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