Great Southern Herald - - Front Page - Jes­sica Cuth­bert

Po­lice have pleaded with mo­torists to avoid be­com­ing a statis­tic with the fes­tive sea­son ap­proach­ing and al­ready 18 deaths on Great South­ern roads this year.

Please, be­tween now and Christ­mas let’s not lose an­other 20 peo­ple — an­other 20 peo­ple not at the ta­ble at their Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties this year. Road Safety Coun­cil chair­man Iain Cameron

Po­lice are urg­ing driv­ers to take re­spon­si­bly on the roads, warn­ing there will be higher po­lice pres­ence lead­ing up to Christ­mas.

The mes­sage is firm this year — don’t take risks on the road and don’t be­come a statis­tic.

Last year 79 peo­ple lost their lives on re­gional WA roads — 15 of these were in the Great South­ern.

This year 91 peo­ple have died in crashes across re­gional WA and 18 peo­ple have died in the Great South­ern, with still nearly a month left un­til the end of the year.

One of the worst years for re­gional WA fa­tal­i­ties was 2016 with 106 dead.

Se­nior In­spec­tor, Great South­ern dis­trict of­fice Alex Ryan said there will be a great po­lice pres­ence on our roads this month.

“The statis­tics are there and we will con­tinue to fo­cus on those cat­e­gory-A lead­ing causes of fa­tal and se­ri­ous road crashes,” he said.

“We will have more peo­ple trav­el­ling into the Great South­ern and more peo­ple on our roads, be pa­tient, re­lax and re­mem­ber you are on hol­i­days.

These cat­e­gory-A causes are im­paired driv­ing, un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs and al­co­hol, reck­less driv­ing, speed­ing and no au­thor­ity to drive, sus­pended or don’t have a li­cence and dis­tracted driv­ing such as the use of mo­bile phones.

“These are the top ones, known to be the con­tin­u­ing ma­jor causes of fa­tal crashes on our coun­try roads, we will also mon­i­tor the non-use of re­straints — so not wear­ing hel­mets and seat­belts,” Insp. Ryan said.

Insp. Ryan said lead­ing up to the fes­tive sea­son, a large num­ber of peo­ple will be trav­el­ling into the Great South­ern.

“We will have a high pres­ence on the road as far as polic­ing goes and we ask peo­ple to con­sider all these as­pects around speed­ing and those main lead­ing causes to fa­tal crashes and ask them­selves if it’s worth it,” he said.

Insp. Ryan said the most dan­ger­ous part of a trip is the end of the jour­ney and he urged driv­ers to wake them­selves up and not drive tired.

“We ask peo­ple to stop, have a rest, stretch your legs, fa­tigue can be a huge fac­tor and lead­ing cause to fa­tal or se­ri­ous crashes,” he said.

“I think peo­ple get caught up in the rush of go­ing on hol­i­days, you need to have a rest, take your time and be pa­tient on the road and keep your at­ten­tion on the road.

“Our aim is to re­duce the num­ber of fa­tal and se­ri­ous crashes on our roads, we ask peo­ple to stay safe and con­sider other road users.”

Road Safety Coun­cil chair­man Iain Cameron spoke of re­gional road deaths last week, also plead­ing for driv­ers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity on the roads.

“The road safety mes­sages are here for you, they are here for your fam­ily, my fam­ily,” he said.

“We are far too dis­tracted, we are far too tired and at 110km/h those crashes off the side of our coun­try roads are nearly al­ways se­ri­ous.

“Please, be­tween now and Christ­mas let’s not lose an­other 20 peo­ple — an­other 20 peo­ple not at the ta­ble at their Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties this year. We have to take a re­spon­si­bil­ity and think about our­selves and our fam­i­lies.”

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