Drive for road safety

Sergeant Mark Gubanyi speaks at the road safety forum at the York Recreation and Convention Centre. Picture: Sophie Gabrielle
Sergeant Mark Gubanyi speaks at the road safety forum at the York Recreation and Convention Centre. Picture: Sophie Gabrielle

Sgt Gubanyi hosted a road safety forum at the York Recreation and Convention Centre on Thursday, attended by about 100 specially invited guests including Shire of York President Tony Boyle, Shire of Northam President Steven Pollard and Shire of Toodyay President Kevin Hogg.

Professor Murray Lampard, from the Office of Road Safety, was the keynote speaker. Central Wheatbelt MLA Mia Davies and police from around the Avon Valley also addressed the gathering.

Sgt Gubanyi spoke from his 35 years experience as a police officer.

‘This is an important forum to talk about serious road crashes,’ he said.

He said 2012 was the worst year for road crashes around York, with five fatal accidents. But he said police had significantly improved crash numbers so far this year.

York police had attended nine crashes this year, with no fatals or critical cases. He said education and enforcement were important in reducing crash statistics.

‘At times it’s hard to juggle where you should be and what you should be doing. But a police presence works ” high visibility patrols are really important, Sgt Gubanyi said.

Sgt Gybanyi said he could not comment specifically on the closure of Tier 3 rail lines but said: ‘I will do everything I can to make the roads safer if it happens.’

Prof Lampard spoke about his early policing career in the Wheatbelt and the issues that were specific to regional WA.

‘There are a lot of single car, run-off road crashes,’ he said.

In regional WA, the number of deaths on roads was 21 per 100,000 people, compared to five per 100,000 people in Victoria.

Prof Lampard said young drivers were not the major problem.

‘Our 17 to 19-year-olds generally don’t drink and drive,’ he said.

Shire of York chief executive Ray Hooper raised the need for flashing lights at the York District High School.

Prof Lampard said York could expect the lights to be installed during the State Government’s current term.