Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Minister given responsibility for road safety

    29/02/1996 12:00 AM



    The responsibility for road safety in Western Australia has been transferred to the Minister for Transport.


    Transport Minister Eric Charlton said the change was a positive step towards improving the profile and administration of road safety in WA.


    "Government has considered it a priority to adopt the recommendations of the report by the Select Committee on Road Safety which called for a single coordination and administration body to improve road safety," Mr Charlton said.


    He said that throughout Australia it was widely acknowledged that road safety was a transport issue involving the safe and efficient management in the transfer of people and goods.


    The Road Traffic Board would be abolished and replaced by a new Road Safety Council.


    The new Road Safety Council would be responsible to a Ministerial Council which would be represented by the ministers for police, health, education and local government and chaired by the Minister for Transport.


    "It will be the role of the Ministerial Council to liaise and co-ordinate the activities of their various Government agencies to ensure that the recommendations of the Road Safety Council are implemented," Mr Charlton said.


    "In particular, developing new driver training initiatives and changing the culture and attitude of motorists through education programs.


    "In 1995, 209 people were killed in WA as a result of 35,000 reported road crashes and at a community cost of $1 billion in health and social terms."


    Police Minister Bob Wiese said the enforcement role by police would continue to make a major contribution to road safety in this State.


    "Experience in the Eastern States highlights that the increased enforcement of traffic laws over recent years has played a significant role in decreasing the crash rate of vehicles," he said.


    "Tougher enforcement measures are working in WA too and statistics indicate the driving public are changing their attitude following the introduction of the .05 drink driving penalty and the increased presence of booze buses and speed cameras."


    Mr Charlton said the Road Safety Council would place a strong emphasis on setting road safety policy and strategy.


    "The council will co-ordinate, implement and promote strategies towards improving road safety and complete the link between adopting national strategies on a local level," he said.


    The council will also manage the allocation of the Road Trauma Trust Fund.


    Mr Charlton said in the interim period before the legislation went through Parliament, Mr Brian Bult (managing director of Voith Australia Pty Ltd), had been appointed to chair a steering committee on road safety to implement the necessary changes.


    The steering committee would be supported by an Office of Road Safety within the Department of Transport, headed by executive director Tony Middleton.


    Media contact: Ian Hasleby 321 7333 Mark Thompson 3222 2311