District most deadly for drivers

A woman died and two others suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash on the Brand Highway yesterday.
A woman died and two others suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash on the Brand Highway yesterday.

Eighteen people died on the region’s roads in 2013, one more than the second highest total in the South East metropolitan police district.

But the road toll for all of WA dropped to 162 ” the lowest since records began in 1962.

Road Safety and Police Minister Liza Harvey said while WA had lost its title of the worst state in the nation for road deaths, it still sat ‘uncomfortably’ behind Tasmania as the second worst performer.

‘While having 20 fewer deaths than in 2012 and 43 fewer deaths than 2008 is a heartening achievement, it is difficult to be pleased with a road toll that shows 162 people still died,’ Ms Harvey said.

‘Now is not the time to be complacent, particularly with 30 fatalities last year linked to drink-|driving.’

Ms Harvey attributed the reduced toll to increased compliance, road upgrades and improvements to vehicle standards.

She said the Government’s decision to divert 100 per cent of speed and red light camera revenue to the Road Trauma Trust Account had provided the capacity to spend more on traffic enforcement and regional road improvements.

Regional roads continue to be the most hazardous in WA, with the Wheatbelt turning in by far the worst performance.

The fatality rate per 100,000 people on the region’s roads was 28.8, way ahead of the worst city region ” the East Metro police district’s 8.1.

More than 73 per cent of all fatal crashes in the Wheatbelt involved a single vehicle that had either run off the road and collided with an object or rolled over.

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