John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Justice; Community Safety

    Wake up call for tired drivers - Get off the road!

    8/03/2006 11:30 AM

    Fatigue is the silent killer on Western Australian roads and could be a factor in up to 35 per cent of fatal road crashes and even more serious and permanent injuries.

    Community Safety Minister John D’Orazio today launched the Road Safety Council’s 2006 Fatigue Campaign.

    “Tired drivers are a danger to themselves and other road users,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    “Fatigue is up there with speed as a factor in fatalities and again, like speed, its victims are mostly young males.

    “With road trauma currently costing the community nearly $2billion a year and rising, it is time for all road users - and that means everybody - to be taking fatigue very, very seriously.”

    The Minister said motorists should know the early signs of fatigue, which included:
    • wandering thoughts;
    • not remembering driving the last few kilometres;
    • missing a gear;
    • missing a road sign or exit;
    • missing the last song on the radio or CD player; and
    • slowing unintentionally and braking too late.
    “Get off the road before the physical signs set in - such as yawning, blinking, having trouble keeping your head up and eyes closing for a moment, or going out of focus,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    “The message is simple - if you feel tired, you should not be driving.

    “At the very least, break a long trip with 20-minute stops for coffee, a walk or short nap and where possible, swap drivers.”

    The Minister said it was not just people driving long distances who were at risk of having fatigue-related crashes.

    “People who work long days, shift workers, students studying around the clock and people socialising into the early hours of the morning can easily tune out for a fatal few seconds on the way home,” he said.

    “Even those who have not been getting enough sleep - at least seven-and-a-half hours a night - are at risk.”

    Minister's office: (08) 9213 7150