WA road toll continues to rise

A Ford Falcon that was destroyed by fire in a fatal crash in Collie. Photo: WA Police.
A Ford Falcon that was destroyed by fire in a fatal crash in Collie. Photo: WA Police.

THE number of people killed on West Australian roads continues to rise despite a concerted effort from government agencies, the police and media to lower the toll. 

So far in 2015 there have been two more deaths on WA roads with the same time period last year. 

Data from the WA police show from January 1 to May 18, last year there were 63 deaths.

This comprised 30 in the metropolitan area and 33 in regional areas, including four during the Easter long weekend.

In the same period this year, 65 lives have been lost on WA roads, 31 in the metropolitan area and 34 in regional WA. 

The year-to-date road toll is the highest it has been for the same period since 2012 with the number of regional deaths higher than any of the past four years.

There were 184 road deaths in this state last year with 102 occurring in regional areas which was a four year high.

In January the state government launched a three prong response to help lower the road toll.

Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said the response would target three major components of the road toll – speed, motorcycle fatalities and country road crashes.

The number of people seriously injured on WA roads in the first five months of 2015 has decreased by around 20 per cent on last year to 88.

But 107 critical injuries recorded from January 1 to May 18, last year was far higher than 70 in 2013 and 75 in 2012.  

Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said drivers have the key responsibility to reduce the road toll when he joined Fairfax Media for a live chat in April.

“Around 25 per cent of people killed on our roads were not wearing a seatbelt – what is that all about?” he asked.

“Another 24 of people killed were 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.”

This year Fairfax WA has been running a road safety campaign Arrive Alive to better educate drivers on ways to keep themselves and others safe.

To see more from the campaign click here