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Dire South West crash figures spark road safety plea

After a spate of fatal crashes in the South West, road safety authorities are pleading with motorists to drive with caution — especially those hitting the road to explore the State for school holidays.

Last weekend a big truck rolled over near Dawesville on Old Coast Road, there was a crash in Australind near Clifton Road and a multi-car pile-up occurred on Bussell Highway near Bunbury Hospital.

The road safety call comes as the region is still reeling from the loss of 16-year-old Tyler Hastie in a horror collision with a four-wheel drive in Stratham on June 29.

In the same week, a 66-year-old Capel man died after his motorcycle left the road and struck a tree in Balingup.

Days later there was another fatality ina traffic crash in Boyanup on July 6.

The South West has recorded the highest number of road fatalities across regional WA this year, with 14 death as of yesterday.

Industry Road Safety Alliance South West chairman Micheal Hay said more vehicles had returned to the road.

“During COVID, the roads were less congested and people may have got used to driving past the speed (limit),” he said.

With more vehicles on the road, it’s about being a courteous driver and taking your time.

Mr Hay said drivers should plan ahead, drive to the conditions and take breaks.

“Make sure your vehicle is safe and you have plenty of time to get from point A to point B,” he said.

“With winter, coming on as well people need to slow down and be aware their vehicles will take longer to stop.”

RAC executive general manager advocacy and members Patrick Walker said regional WA was consistently over-represented by road fatalities.

Many motorists are likely to be travelling on unfamiliar roads, for longer distances, and towing a caravan for the first time.

Mr Walker said 60 per cent of WA’s 2020 road fatalities had occurred on regional roads and urged drivers to plan ahead and ensure they are well prepared for regional journeys.

“Please remember to travel safely — ditch all distractions and look out for each other on our roads because we all deserve a safe and enjoyable break.”

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