From the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS)
The RAC wants the default speed limit on WA’s regional roads to fall from 110km/h to 100km/h as it called on the McGowan Government to “do more to tackle the unforgivably high number of people killed” on the State’s roads.
The organisation said “courageous leadership by a Government truly committed to saving lives today, not in years to come” was needed to achieve safer travel speeds, adding that WA had one of the “poorest road safety performances of all Australian States”.
In a submission to the State Road Safety Strategy consultation, the RAC’s Patrick Walker said progress in road safety in the past 10 years in WA “has been unforgivably slow”. He said that WA speed limits were among the highest in the world and, apart from the Northern Territory, WA was the only Australian jurisdiction to still have the 110km/h rural default speed limit.
A RAC survey found most West Australians were against speed limit drops, with only 16 per cent of respondents in support. Men and young drivers were the most likely to oppose reductions. One in five admitted driving up to 5km/h above the limit most of the time.
Mr Walker said bipartisan support was needed to cut speed limits and improve community understanding of the impact of speed on crashes. Mr Walker said the next strategy should set a more ambitious target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on WA roads over the next five years. He called for the Road Safety Commission to report to a joint parliamentary standing committee instead of a minister, for all departments to have shared road safety key performance indicators and for the State to commit to a $900 million program to improve regional roads, regardless of Federal funding.
There were 165 road deaths in WA last year, the highest since 2016, including 99 in regional areas. Thirteen people have died on roads this year. Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said there was no plan for an across the board speed limit cut, adding: “Where, however, there is widespread community support for a review of a speed limit in an area, that will be considered.”
Read the Complete Article here.