‘Tragic’ road toll for 2014
A “horrendous” year on Goldfields-Esperance roads has seen the region suffer the highest number of traffic-related deaths since 2009.
With two weeks left of the calendar year, a total of 15 people have been killed and two seriously injured in 11 crashes on Goldfields Esperance roads.
It is the equal third-highest number of traffic deaths in the region for a 12-month period since 2000, and a 250 per cent increase on the six deaths from five crashes in 2013.
April, May and August were the only months without a death on the region’s roads.
The region’s roads are expected to be flooded with cars in the remaining days of 2014, although no traffic-related deaths were recorded for December in 2013.
Goldfields-Esperance Traffic Unit Sergeant Russell Chamberlain described the number of fatalities this year as “tragic”, but hoped the high road toll would serve as a reminder for drivers over the holiday period.
“The majority of these crashes … part of the reason why these crashes occurred is due to the driver or rider,” he said.
“The only good thing about what I consider to be a horrendous run we’ve had, is if we take that hurt the community feels and learn from it.
“Each death or serious injury has an impact — it’s horrendous, it hurts people.
“It is a fallacy to think that most deaths on country roads are by tourists or visitors, most of the deaths are from local people that travel within their district.”
The double demerit point period begins tomorrow and will extend right through until January 4.
During that time, police will up their presence on Goldfields-Esperance highways and target the usual areas — speeding, drink or drug affected drivers, fatigue, unlicensed drivers and seatbelts.
Having already impounded 59 vehicles in the region this year, all for hoon driving, Sgt Chamberlain said reckless behaviour would be a major focus for police.
“Ultimately it’s your choice and if you want to behave like an idiot on the road and put everyone else at risk, including yourself, you don’t deserve to be on the road,” he said.
“At best you’re going to get charged and lose your car — at worst you’re going to have a crash and you could kill yourself, someone else, or someone else’s family.”
Constable Brendan Maccione and Senior Constable Sally Halliday from the Goldfields-Esperance Traffic Unit are gearing up for a busy Christmas on the region’s roads.