Regional road deaths hit three-year high, safety urged for Mid West motorists over Christmas

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Camera IconCredit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian, Konnah Ruru, crash survivor with Will Golsby, RAC General Manager External Relations, standing next to the Wardrobe of Memories, with a piece of clothing to highlight the 155 lives lost on WA roads last year.

Road deaths are at a three-year high for regional WA, with Mid West motorists urged to take care when travelling over the festive season.

As of December 17, there were 97 fatalities on country roads in 2021 — the highest annual number of regional road deaths since 2018.

Statewide, 162 have people lost their lives in road accidents this year.

Almost 80 people were killed or seriously injured on Mid West roads last year and father-of-three Jared Smith became the ninth person since 2018 to die on the region’s Indian Ocean Drive after his Nissan X-Trail and a road trail collided in April.

RAC general manager external relations Will Golsby said many families would now be forced to celebrate Christmas without the victims of regional WA’s dangerous roads. “There are far too many families heading into the Christmas break without their loved ones this year as deaths continue to occur on our regional roads at an alarming rate,” he said.“Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many it will be a stark and devastating reminder of their loved ones who are no longer here because of road trauma.”

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Mr Golsby said holiday traffic increased the risk of road accidents and urged motorists to be alert to danger when travelling through regional WA. “The festive season is always a high-risk time on our roads, but particularly with more people travelling across regional WA than ever before,” he said. “It’s critical we don’t lose sight of the risks we face behind the wheel so we urge everyone to slow down, ditch the distractions, take regular breaks and be patient with one another.“Road fatalities and serious injuries are tragic, devastating and preventable — let’s all do our part to keep each other safe on the roads this festive season.”Double demerit penalties come into effect on Christmas Eve and will remain in place until January 10.

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