Concerns remain as road toll drops
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.”