Social media made roads safer: police
Social media and new road policing strategies look to have contributed to reduced traffic incidents, according to the Pilbara’s dedicated traffic police unit.
More than 6000 vehicles have been stopped this financial year to date, with arrests and summonses down 25 per cent, speeding and seatbelt infringements falling 50 per cent and cautions down 7 per cent.
There has also been a reduction of 65 per cent in serious crashes.
Since July, the traffic unit has employed traditional traffic enforcement tactics — patrolling streets and highways and random breath tests — but Sergeant Paul Arnold said it was engagement with the community that was making the difference.
“The community wants to know where we are, what we are doing and what is happening so they can make positive changes in their behaviour and habits,” he said.
“Pilbara Police District … now has the largest regional WA Police Facebook following.
“It is the input and support from our local community to attempt to shift public attitude, build habitual compliance and make sustainable driving culture improvements that are at the forefront of modern policing.” Across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, police are using comments from users to help assist their co-ordination of tackling issues raised by the community.
Sgt Arnold said the community could help by following police through these outlets and taking on board the safety messages, applying them and engaging with police to support their handling of local issues.
Pilbara District Inspector Brett Ranford said it had been a great initiative by officers in the region to actively engage with the community to improve driver behaviour and promote safer road use.