Po­lice to fo­cus on driver fa­tigue

Narrogin Observer - - News -

The State’s road safety com­mis­sioner has fore­shad­owed less fo­cus on “risk tak­ers” who cause fa­tal and se­ri­ous crashes and greater at­ten­tion to drivers crash­ing from fa­tigue and inat­ten­tion when the next road safety strat­egy is rolled out af­ter 2020.

Ad­dress­ing the an­nual Great South­ern Road Safety Con­fer­ence last Tues­day in Cran­brook, act­ing Road Safety Com­mis­sioner Iain Cameron said fa­tigue and inat­ten­tion by drivers re­quired a greater fo­cus to re­duce the road toll.

He said three out of four se­ri­ous crashes were caused by driver be­hav­iour, which was not risky such as speed­ing, drink or drug driv­ing.

Mr Cameron said the State would need to de­velop a new road safety strat­egy to re­place the To­wards Zero strat­egy, which ex­pires in 2020.

“Next year, we are go­ing to go out and con­sult on a new long-term strat­egy. What I would hope for is that it is about us and not just about idiots; it is about the rest of us as well,” he said.

“So the 25 per cent who are still de­lib­er­ately tak­ing risks, I’m not go­ing to spend any more money on them telling them they shouldn’t drink and drive be­cause of these rea­sons. We are go­ing to spend money now on the en­force­ment and telling peo­ple that if you do it, we are go­ing to en­force it.”

Great South­ern po­lice district Su­per­in­ten­dent Ian Clarke said many sus­pected fa­tigue and inat­ten­tion crashes could not be proven, and de­scribed the choice to drive un­der fa­tigue as “an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour”. “Driv­ing tired needs to be made so­cially un­ac­cept­able,” he said.

Supt Clarke said although the amount of peo­ple drink-driv­ing was re­duc­ing sig­nif­i­cantly, drug­driv­ing was be­com­ing more preva­lent.

He pointed to a re­cent op­er­a­tion tar­get­ing a rave party where five of 13 drivers tested recorded pos­i­tive tests for il­licit drugs.

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