Focus shifts to road safety in lead up to Easter long weekend

Quinns Beach Primary School students at the 2018 Blessing of the roads ceremony. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Quinns Beach Primary School students at the 2018 Blessing of the roads ceremony. Picture: Martin Kennealey

ROAD safety is the emphasis of a range of initiatives the RoadWise program is rolling out in the lead up to the Easter long weekend.

The City of Wanneroo is joining the WA Local Government Association’s program to highlight road safety and will hold its annual ‘Blessing of the roads’ ceremony in Hocking next month.

The event aims to educate motorists about the need to slow down, wear a seatbelt, take regular breaks and not to drink and drive during the busy Easter period.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the campaign’s overarching goal of moving “towards zero” was an important reminder that trauma caused from road incidents was preventable.

“All road users, including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, have a significant role to play in keeping our roads safe and free of incident,” she said.

“I urge everyone to stay safe during the Easter period by following the sign-posted speed limits, taking regular breaks on long drives, wearing a seatbelt, never using a mobile phone while behind the wheel and never drinking and driving.

“There were 158 fatalities on WA’s roads in 2018 – by working together to make our roads safer, we reduce this and work towards zero.”

A WA Police chaplain will lead a blessing as part of the ceremony and guest speakers will include Road Safety Council chairman Iain Cameron and PBF Australia speaker Neil Hart.

Mr Hart suffered a permanent and complete spinal lesion as a result of a road incident caused by speeding and now regularly visits high schools and workplaces to discuss the consequences of speeding.

Students from local schools and representatives from WA Police, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, St John Ambulance and Main Roads WA will also attend.

Human Spirit Award nominations

Mrs Roberts is calling for nominations by March 20 for the 2019 Human Spirit Awards, which can include individuals or groups that have promoted or supported road safety, or participated in road safety projects, campaigns or activities.

Nominees could also have developed policies or strategies to reduce road-related deaths or trauma, or raised awareness of local safety issues.

Winners will receive the awards at the Blessing of the roads event on Thursday, April 11, from 10am to 11.30am at Greenfields Park, on the corner of Elliot Road and Wanneroo Road in Hocking.

To nominate someone, email traffic@wanneroo.wa.gov.au with the subject line ‘Human Spirit Award nomination’ and contact details.

Visit www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au for a nomination form.

Road safety ongoing focus

The City will offer free caravan and trailer checks on Saturday, April 6, between 8am and noon at the Ashby Operations Centre, 1204 Wanneroo Road.

Past inspections have revealed a range of faults, from worn tyres and brakes to suspension and electrical issues, which all have the potential to contribute to a road incident.

In addition, the volunteer-run Driver Reviver van will be stationed north of Yanchep on Indian Ocean Drive, offering motorists a cuppa and a biscuit on Easter Monday, April 22.

Mrs Roberts said long weekends were always busy on roads, particularly Indian Ocean Drive, and it was imperative motorists take regular breaks and drive responsibly.

“I hope to see drivers take advantage of the Driver Reviver van and take regular breaks from driving, especially those on long trips,” she said.

For more information, call 9405 5072.