Minister pays tribute to road traffic victims

Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts has addressed the media following a number of crashes on Wheatbelt roads in the last week.

Minister Roberts inspected a display of dozens of empty shoes placed outside St George's Cathedral  in Perth representing the men, women, children, drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians who have lost their lives on WA roads in 2018.

As of November 29 there have been 145 deaths on WA roads with 22 road fatalities in the Wheatbelt.

“It has been a shocking period on our roads in recent days,” Minister Roberts said.

“Five of those six deaths have been in regional Western Australia.

“That’s why our Government has put in place a Regional Enforcement Unit and we’re trying to have more police on those major country roads than we’ve ever had before.

“And we’re trying to get that message out to regional people.

“Sadly, though in most cases, the people who are driving on those regional roads are local people that crash and die in their own postcode area or a neighbouring postcode area.”

On Sunday a 20-year-old woman from Northam who had since moved to Burswood was killed when her car collided with a truck and a car towing a caravan.

The grey Fiat Punto was travelling westerly along Great Eastern Highway when it collided with a red B-Double road train car carrier, also travelling westerly.

The Fiat then travelled to the incorrect side of the carriageway and collided head-on with a silver VW Touareg that was towing a caravan.

St John Ambulance conveyed the driver to Northam Hospital where she died a short time later.

Four days later a 20-year-old male died in a single vehicle crash in Nunile, outside of Toodyay. 

On Thursday police were alerted of crash involving a white Suzuki Vitara and a tree near the intersection of Nunile Road and Red Gully Road at 6.30am.

The driver and single occupant died at the scene. 

Minister Roberts said country roads have higher death tolls for a reason.

“When you’re driving on a country road, at a 110km an hour, your chances of survival if you crash are much much lower,” she said.

“So that’s why I certainly believe we’re continuing to see the deaths on country roads.

“If you’re driving at a 110km/hour on a country road and you hit a tree or you crash into another vehicle, there’s a significant chance that you will be killed, if not seriously injured.”

Between 2012 and 2016, 146 people died on Wheatbelt roads, the highest for any regional area.