Multilingual signs rolled out on WA tourism routes

Multilingual signs rolled out on WA tourism routes

MULTILINGUAL signs will be installed on WA roads as part of a trial to help international drivers safely navigate popular tourism routes.

The trial involves the installation of signs with symbolic “keep left” arrows, and “keep left” spelt in German, French and simplified Mandarin.

Directional arrows will also be painted intermittently on the road surface to remind drivers to keep left when driving in Australia.

The trial comes as the State Government released five-year crash statistics that showed international drivers were involved in about 2.5 per cent of the 1638 fatal or serious injury crashes on rural WA roads.

Drivers with international/overseas licence involved in KSI (killed or seriously injured) crashes.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced the initiative on November 1 at the first road to get the signs, Indian Ocean Drive, which has had several serious and fatal crashes in recent years.

“This is a low-cost trial adopted from overseas jurisdictions, which will help international drivers safely travel to some of WA’s great destinations,” Ms Saffioti said.

Main Roads Midwest Gascoyne regional manager Bernie Miller and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“Head on crashes invariably have a devastating effect, so any measure to address the issue is worth trialling.

“Given international holiday visitors in 2018-19 were the highest on record for WA, we want to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep motorists safe.”

Crash nature for rural State road KSI crashes five-year period.

Figures provided by Ms Saffioti’s office showed four of the 51 fatal or serious crashes on Indian Ocean Drive from 2014 to 2018 involved international drivers, equating to 7.8 per cent.

The percentage was higher on Northampton Kalbarri Road (33 per cent), Burkett Road (25 per cent) and Minilya-Exmouth Road (20 per cent), although the total number of crashes was 10 or fewer on each of those roads, which will also be part of the trial.

Nationality of international drivers involved in KSI crashes.

Analysis of crash data from 2014 to 2018 showed that international drivers were 35 per cent more likely to be involved in head on crashes, particularly drivers with a licence issued from a country that drives on the right hand side of the road.

International visitors to WA (ranked by frequency YE March 2019). Source: Tourism WA

“We want Indian Ocean Drive to be safe as possible for both locals and visitors alike, but we also need drivers to drive responsibly and to the conditions,” Police Minister Michelle Roberts said.

Investigation and planning is underway to assess the suitability and cost of extending the trial to Brookton Highway and Caves Road.

The first stage of the project started in October, with pavement markings already installed on Indian Ocean Drive and signs to be installed by mid-December.

St John opens ambulance base near Indian Ocean Drive

Two dead in Indian Ocean Drive crash

Man dies in Indian Ocean Drive crash