WA road toll marks 'devastating' start to 2021

As of January 25, 23 people had been killed on WA roads since January 1, the highest number of road fatalities in the same period for a decade.
As of January 25, 23 people had been killed on WA roads since January 1, the highest number of road fatalities in the same period for a decade.

An alarming number of deaths have occurred on Western Australian roads since the start of 2021, prompting calls for drivers to take extra care on unfamiliar roads.

As of January 25, 23 people had been killed on WA roads since January 1, the highest number of road fatalities in the same period for a decade.

Nearly 60 per cent of those fatalities have occurred in regional WA.

"Clearly, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on travel patterns and behaviours with Western Australians exploring their own backyard a lot more, which means travelling on unfamiliar regional roads at high speeds over long distances," RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said.

Mr Golsby said it was a devastating start to the year, and warned the road toll could reach as high as 300 over the course of the year.

"WA's regions are some of the most dangerous places to drive anywhere in the country, with road deaths occurring at six times the rate of Perth.

"We all have a responsibility to help make our roads safer - let's all drive like someone else's life depends on it, because it often does."

WA saw a spike in road deaths toward the end of 2020, which Mr Golsby said had continued into the new year.

"Twenty-three isn't just a number - it represents real people whose lives have been tragically cut short, with families and friends who are starting the new year by grieving the sudden loss of a loved one.

"The impact of these deaths is widespread and lasts a lifetime.

"If deaths continue to occur at this alarming rate, we can expect another 300 people to be killed and thousands more seriously injured on Western Australian roads by the end of this year."

This story WA road toll marks 'devastating' start to 2021 first appeared on Augusta-Margaret River Mail.