A DISTRACTED driver could be a dead driver.
This is the message from WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan ahead of the Easter long weekend.
Commissioner O’Callaghan joined us for a live chat on Wednesday afternoon to ensure the toll on our roads will not be as deadly as in 2014 when six lives were lost on regional WA roads.
“The large exodus of cars from Perth increases the chances of serious crashes,” Commissioner O’Callaghan said.
“Many people are not adequately prepared to travel on some of our country roads – they are not used to stopping, taking a break and may be unfamiliar with conditions and hazards on regional roads.”
“I have often said that I got used to the sight of dead bodies very quickly but I could never get used to dealing with the wreckage of lives afterwards – take care this Easter everyone."WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan
Taking questions from the public about road safety, Commissioner O’Callaghan said drivers have the key responsibility to reduce the road toll.
“Around 25 per cent of people killed on our roads is not wearing a seatbelt – what is that all about?” he asked.
“Another 24 of people killed are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“To put this in perspective, this accounted for nearly 100 deaths in 2014.
“But fatigue, not driving to road conditions and inattention are all also significant factors which cannot be easily policed.”
The Commissioner said the use of mobile telephones by WA motorists was “an epidemic”.
“I ride a motorcycle and am appalled at the number of people I see texting while driving,” he said.
Commissioner O’Callaghan praised the efforts of the Fairfax WA #ArriveAlive campaign which aims to lower the state’s road toll in 2015 after 184 lives were lost last year.
He warned drivers that there would be no worse way to spend Easter then grieving over a dead relative, colleague or friend.
“I have often said that I got used to the sight of dead bodies very quickly but I could never get used to dealing with the wreckage of lives afterwards – take care this Easter everyone,” he said.
Commission O’Callaghan said drivers would need to be patient on the roads, especially on Thursday and Monday afternoons when many cars start their journey.
He also said anyone heavily laden with goods, even the Easter bunny, should stick to a maximum of 100 kilometres an hour in a 100 kilometre an hour zone.
“As of March 27 new regulation requires all heavy loads be secured with webbing – including chocolate eggs,” he said.
See the full transcript from Commissioner O’Callaghan’s live chat below.