Con­cerns re­main as road toll drops

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - ■ Ali­cia Perera

Last year’s State road toll sta­tis­tics have been re­leased and while they show fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries re­duced across re­gional WA, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties say the Pil­bara has a long way to go.

The Road Safety Com­mis­sion’s 2015 road toll sum­mary re­ported 87 road fa­tal­i­ties in re­gional WA last year, com­pared with 74 in the metropoli­tan area.

That makes for a re­spec­tive 10 per cent and 11 per cent de­crease in fa­tal­i­ties in those ar­eas for the past five years, com­pared with the pre­vi­ous five-year pe­riod.

There was an even big­ger de­crease of 34 per cent in crit­i­cal in­jury counts for re­gional WA in the past five years.

But lo­cal au­thor­i­ties re­main con­cerned for North West driv­ers.

Early sta­tis­tics for this year show 14 recorded road deaths in re­gional WA so far.

Pil­bara District Po­lice Su­perin- ten­dent Jo McCabe said de­spite the Pil­bara hav­ing the third-low­est num­ber of crashes by re­gion in the State, it was un­for­tu­nate the num­ber had in­creased twofold for the area.

“We are very dis­ap­pointed with the num­ber of peo­ple that lost their lives on Pil­bara roads,” she said.

“In 2015, we had 10 griev­ing fam­i­lies and many trau­ma­tised po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices of­fi­cers.

“The ef­fects are far-reach­ing and long-term.” Data col­lected be- tween 2004 and 2013 in­di­cated sin­gle-ve­hi­cle, non-col­li­sion rollovers or run-off-road in­ci­dents were the most com­mon cause of fa­tal and se­ri­ous in­jury crashes in the Pil­bara in that time.

Pil­bara Traf­fic Po­lice Sergeant Paul Arnold said most ac­ci­dents were a re­sult of driver er­ror, es­pe­cially fa­tigue and push­ing past phys­i­cal and me­chan­i­cal lim­its.

“We of­ten hear the old rhetoric how trips to Perth are done in one go with­out a stop like it is a badge of hon­our,” he said.

“Many peo­ple are un­der­pre­pared for the tyranny of dis­tance and how long they are be­hind the wheel, which will af­fect even the sea­soned trav­eller.

In re­gional WA tak­ing your time is cru­cial to safe ar­rival.

“Un­nec­es­sary risky over­takes to shave off a cou­ple of min­utes, fol­low­ing too close and push­ing fa­tigue bound­aries are crit­i­cal high-harm ac­tions.”

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