Drive on to keep wave tradition on the road
Three outback legends have joined a campaign to get people waving on WA’s country roads as concerns mount about the future of the simple yet iconic gesture.
In early October, West Regional News undertook a study on a length of country road between Bunbury and Manjimup which found only five of 270 people returned the highway salute.
Spurred on by that video, Spirit Radio presenter Angela Ayers started a campaign to bring back the wave, quickly recruiting jillaroo Jess (Edwards), Kasey Chambers and Tim Winton to her cause.
“Apart from the funny side of it, it is making people pay attention on the roads, taking notice of their surroundings,” Edwards said.
Australian country music star Kasey Chambers admitted she was caught a little off guard by the suggestion, but was completely on board.
“I can say I have been doing interviews for about 30 years and I have never been asked that question,” she said. “I am raising my kids to be wavers.
“Most people want them to be doctors, lawyers, whatever.
“I just want them to be wavers.” Acclaimed WA author Tim Winton said while some were perhaps a little too enthusiastic with the wave, it was a tradition worth holding on to.
Ayers even managed to rope in a team of “researchers” to gather more data on the prevalence of the highway wave between Perth and Karratha.
They found only 2 per cent of people waved between Perth and Geraldton, and 24 per cent between Geraldton and Monkey Mia.
Up towards Coral Bay that figure was nearer 50 per cent, before dropping back to 41 per cent from Coral Bay to Karratha.
“In conclusion, the wave is not dead, but you and I have some work to do,” Ayers said.
“When you are on the road today, do it, lift up that index finger and forge a connection on a long dusty road that, while fleeting, says so much more about Australia than words can express.”
So go forth WA, go forth and wave. Don’t let the wave wane.
Are we seeing the end of the line for the highway wave?