Western Australia has a long history of issues with road safety. The Towards Zero strategy, initiated in 2008, has been working to improve road safety in four key areas - safe road use, safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds and safe vehicles.
Since the strategy was implemented, WA's fatality rate per 100,000 has steadily decreased from 14 to just over 6 in 2015.
However certain areas of the State have increased rates which are in need of significant attention. The Nationals WA want to introduce a targeted, coordinated effort to reduce the number of people dying each year on our regional roads.
We intend to start in the Wheatbelt, where the problem is the worst and expand successful elements of the program across the State.
Wheatbelt Road Safety Campaign
The Nationals WA will commit $5 million over four years to develop and implement a Wheatbelt specific road safety campaign.
Changing ingrained attitudes and culture is complex and requires a sustained campaign over a significant period of time. A multi-faceted campaign is required to address this challenge, tailored to the unique factors that lead to injury and death in the Wheatbelt. The approach will be informed and developed by research and strategy developed by the Government and key stakeholders to ensure it targets the unique factors that lead to serious injury and death.
Safer Roads Fund
The Nationals WA will establish a targeted road safety infrastructure campaign, investing $40 million over four years to implement road safety treatments like protective barriers, improved signage and rumble strips to make regional roads safer.
Road Safety Community Action Fund
Better roads, safety barriers, rumble strips and other road treatments will be part of the solution but unfortunately, statistics show that men between the ages of 18 and 45 who are driving too fast, drunk or drugged, and driving without a seat belt are the people who are dying or suffer serious injuries in car accidents.
They are making a choice and to combat this we need a community response.
The Nationals will commit $4 million over four years to provide grants through a Road Safety Community Action Fund to support local programs and initiatives to reduce our road toll.
Wheatbelt Road Safety Force
We know a visible Police presence on our roads works. We will help bolster our local policing with a dedicated traffic force to enforce the law and change attitudes toward road safety in the Wheatbelt.
The Nationals WA will commit $12 million over four years, jointly funded through Royalties for Regions and the Road Trauma Trust Account. This will see a dedicated traffic force established at Moora, Merredin and Narrogin to supplement the existing resourcing at Northam.
Road Trauma Trust Account
The Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA) was created to collect funds from red light and speed camera revenue to fund initiatives which promote and improve road safety.
The Nationals believe it is timely to review the operations of the RTTA to ensure the funding is directed towards projects and initiatives that can demonstrably prove they will reduce the road toll. All funding recommendations should be supported by objective criteria and a master action plan for the whole of the strategy.
For more detail on our commitments, read our full policy paper here.