John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

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

    WA has lowest road toll in more than 40 years

    31/12/2005 11:00 PM

    Western Australia’s road toll for 2005 is the lowest in more than 40 years.

    Acting Community Safety Minister John D’Orazio said last year 163 people were killed on WA’s roads - the lowest road toll since records were first kept in 1961.

    Mr D’Orazio said 179 people were killed in crashes in 2004 and the previous record low of 165 deaths was in 2001.

    Today the Acting Minister praised the community and police for their hard work.

    Mr D’Orazio also flagged the introduction of two new road safety laws - Owner Onus laws and a ban on carrying passengers in the open load space of any vehicle fitted with a roll cage.

    “Any road death is still one too many and our Government will continue to work hard to find new ways to boost road safety,” he said.

    “Last year’s low road toll is a fantastic achievement and I commend WA’s motorists and the tremendous work of our frontline police and road safety authorities for saving the lives of more Western Australians on the roads.”

    Mr D’Orazio said since 1999 WA had seen a reduction in road fatalities of 32 per cent.

    “This equates to about 215 people who are alive today,” he said.

    “Our State is now outperforming every other jurisdiction in Australia when it comes to a fall in road fatalities, which is an amazing triumph considering that not so long ago we had the second worst road trauma figures in the country.

    “While the road toll for last year is heartening, our Government is aiming for the day when we have no deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

    Mr D’Orazio said boosting road safety and protecting WA’s unique lifestyle was a priority for the Gallop Government, which had introduced wide-ranging reforms and programs over the last five years, including:
    • the 50km/h limit on urban roads;
    • double demerit points in key travel periods;
    • banning hand held mobile phones;
    • boosting funding to remove traffic Blackspots;
    • introducing anti-hoon laws; and
    • more frontline police.
    “Research shows that penalising unsafe driving is an important weapon in the fight to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    The Acting Minister said two new road safety laws came into effect today.

    “Owner Onus requires vehicle owners to identify the driver of their vehicle at the time of a traffic offence,” he said.

    “If the owner was not driving at the time of the offence, then the onus rests with them to prove who was in control.

    “For those drivers who do not make an effort to identify the driver to police then the penalties range from $1,200 up to $2,400 for subsequent offences. For corporations, the penalty is $5,000.

    “This will give police more power to target speeding motorcyclists and company drivers who flout the law.”

    Mr D’Orazio said the other new traffic law to take effect involved passengers being carried on the open load spaces of vehicles.

    “The existing ban on carrying passengers in the open load spaces of trucks, utes, panel vans and other vehicles has been now been extended to include those which are fitted with a roll cage,” he said.

    “The penalty includes a $150 fine for the driver and the loss of three demerit points and a $150 fine for each passenger travelling in the open load space.”

    Minister's office: 9213 6600