Easter road warning: drivers must be responsible this long weekend


WA Police will be out at full strength this weekend, when double demerits are also in play.
WA Police will be out at full strength this weekend, when double demerits are also in play.

MOTORISTS are being urged to stick to the road rules and ensure they are fit to be behind the wheel this Easter holiday break.

Cockburn police station officer-in-charge James Bradley said police would be targeting hoons and drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“It’s frustrating for police when we continue to see a blatant disregard for the road rules,” he said.

“Our message is that we will be out in force and actively policing the roads.”

Senior Sergeant Bradley said risks associated with hooning, speeding and distractions including mobile phones were ramped up when roads are busier, such as during long weekends and holidays.

There were three fatalities over the Easter break in 2016(from the evening of Thursday, March 24 to Monday March 28).

The Road Safety Commission has banded with Western Force to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the effect of fatigue on drivers.

The #ForceOutFatigue push will target the thousands that make the most of the four-day break by travelling longer distance to holiday hotspots.

Twenty-seven people died in fatigue-related crashes in 2016, which equated to 14 per cent of all people killed on WA roads last year.

“Get a good night’s sleep before getting behind the wheel, make regular stops along the way, stay alert by eating healthy snacks and travel with a friend who can share the driving,” Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia said.

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Double demerit points will come into effect at midnight on Thursday and run until midnight Monday.

“Once again you will see WA Police out and about, enforcing those offences that are known to be factors in fatal and serious injury crashes on Western Australian roads,” the Commissioner said.

“Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking, put on a seat belt, leave your phone alone, stick to the speed limit and obey traffic lights, otherwise you’ll be hit with double the points if you get caught.”

At the local level, City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said motorists had to take responsibility for their actions.

“The police do an incredible job, especially at peak travel times like school holidays and Easter and our security service CoSafe can help to be the extra ears and eyes on the road, but it’s really up to motorists to take responsibility for their actions while driving,” he said.

“We know it will be a busy time out there so in that knowledge, plan ahead for the inevitable delays and take enough breaks to prevent tiredness.

“We want to see everyone back home safely.”