Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA attended the official launch of the State Government’s Great Eastern Highway Road Safety Alliance (GEHRSA) in Northam today, along with key regional stakeholders, to discuss solutions to improve road safety on the Great Eastern Highway.
Ms Davies said GEHRSA was initiated in response to a Wheatbelt Highway Safety Review held at Merredin, in October.
“This alliance will bring together road users, the State Government, local shires, transport industry groups, and road safety authorities to look for and implement solutions to improve road safety along Great Eastern Highway,” Ms Davies said.
Ms Davies said the cooperative approach would help combat the “unacceptably high road toll” in the Wheatbelt region, and assist towards eliminating death and serious injury resulting from local crashes.
The State’s first Highway Safety Review, which targeted the Wheatbelt, was established after 26 people were killed on the region’s roads in 2014.
“Data was presented at the meeting to suggest that while 25 percent of accidents were fatigue related, there was no real pattern or common cause relating to the serious injury and deaths on the highway,” she said.
“However, there were contributing factors of excessive speed, alcohol and non-use of seatbelts in a number of incidents,” Ms Davies said.
“It was agreed there is no silver bullet to resolve this for our region. It must be a multi-faceted approach and the group agreed it needed to be led from the grassroots using people from the community to assist in delivering the message.”
During the 2016-17 Budget, the State Government committed $7.8 million to complete road safety improvements in the Wheatbelt.
Work already underway includes the widening of the highway to a nine metre seal, the introduction of audible edge and centre strip lines to combat driver fatigue or inattention, and crash barriers at selected sites.
Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Martin Aldridge MLC said with the festive season approaching it was an important time for road safety awareness.
“Pay attention and don’t take risks, our road toll is too high and we need to ensure everyone is driving to conditions and being responsible,” Mr Aldridge said.
For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 08 9041 1702 (Merredin office), 08 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.