Trailer Magazine

State seeks Federal backing for road safety initiative

  • Posted on Thursday 1st, August 2019.

The Government of Western Australia is calling for a Federal Government partnership to deliver a nine-year strategy to address single vehicle regional road incidents.

The strategy target would be $100 million a year over nine years - $80 million from the Federal Government and $20 million from the State through the Road Trauma Trust Account.

The regional road safety initiative focuses on a capital intensive program of civil construction works to provide sealed shoulders, install audible edge-lining and where required metre-wide audible median or centre-lines on more than 17,400 kilometres of the regional road network.

The program of works is estimated to create more than 500 direct and indirect jobs annually over its nine-year life.

Of the 159 fatalities in WA last year, 100 occurred on regional roads with most involving a single vehicle running off the road or drifting into the path of an oncoming vehicle, causing a head-on crash. The annual community cost of this trauma is $900 million, while the emotional trauma cannot be measured.

Major routes initially targeted would include:

  • Great Eastern Highway (Perth to Northam);
  • Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin);
  • South Western Highway (Perth to Donnybrook); and,
  • North West Coastal Highway (Karratha to Roebourne).

Modelling undertaken using roads where the same safety treatments have been introduced shows the strategy could reduce road trauma in regional WA by 60 per cent.

"We've had some initial discussions about this program with the Federal Government but I'm keen to talk to the Federal Minister about the benefits of such a program,” said Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti.

"I will be attending the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in Adelaide to bring this issue to wider attention. This is a plan that will save lives and it's something we need to talk about at a national level - too many lives have been lost or affected by road trauma.

"The State and Federal Government have previously worked together well on the issue of road safety and I would like to see us build on that success,” she said.

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