- $7 million passing lanes open in time for busy Christmas period
- Road upgrade one of several initiatives introduced following Indian Ocean Drive road safety review
- A further $20 million worth of improvements are taking place over the next two years
Four new passing lanes that will improve safety between Yanchep and Lancelin are now open to traffic, in time for the peak holiday period.
The passing lanes feature Wide Centre Line Treatment (WCLT) to create more space between opposing traffic and provide additional reaction time if a driver unintentionally drifts across the centre line and towards oncoming traffic.
Work to construct the passing lanes started in April 2018 after the release of a road safety review into Indian Ocean Drive, and are part of a wider package of works announced last year to improve regional road safety across Western Australia.
Following a series of serious crashes along Indian Ocean Drive in 2017, a high level working group comprising representatives from Main Roads Western Australia, Western Australia Police Force and the Road Safety Commission adopted a safe system approach to reviewing issues on a stretch of Indian Ocean Drive, between Breakwater Drive and Lancelin.
Many of the recommendations such as a speed limit reduction, audible edge and centre lines, increased police patrols, more signage and additional overtaking lanes were implemented at the time of the release of the report.
The latest upgrade cost nearly $7 million and, beginning in the new year, further works worth $20 million will be undertaken by the State Government to improve the remainder of the southern section of the highway.
This will include installing an extra 43 kilometres of WCLT between Breakwater Drive and the southernmost new passing lane. The work will run from January 2019 to 2021 and will include various intersection improvements between Two Rocks and Lancelin.
The new work means there are now seven northbound and eight southbound passing lanes between Yanchep and Lancelin, an average of 7.8 kilometres apart for northbound traffic and 7.2 kilometres for southbound traffic - that is one roughly every five minutes if travelling at 90kmh.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"The passing lanes provide drivers with additional opportunities to overtake slower moving vehicles in a safe manner.
"These works, and those to be delivered over the next few years, are designed to provide a more forgiving road environment and keep travellers safe.
"More police patrols, along with speed surveys every three months on the section of road where the speed zone was reduced, has generally shown good compliance."
Comments attributed to Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:
"These passing lanes are part of a broader program of improvements we are making to Indian Ocean Drive.
"More and more crashes are caused by simple errors of judgement or moments of inattention.
"There will be many people using this road at this time of year and I would ask drivers to be extra careful.
"Always drive to the conditions, don't drive tired or distracted and don't drive with alcohol or drugs in your system.
"Police will be maintaining a strong presence on Indian Ocean Drive and other regional roads this festive season."
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Road Safety Minister's office - 6552 6900