Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning

    Swan River speed radar trial to target dangerous boaties

    13/04/2019 4:00 PM
    • Trial of interactive speed sign implemented at Swan River speeding hotspot
    • New technology marine radar with display to educate skippers and change behaviour
    • McGowan Government partners with Boating WA to boost boat safety on the Swan River
    • Follows success of recent CCTV rollout at boating hotspots along the Swan River 

    A trial of an on-water radar speed sign at a Swan River speeding hotspot is set to get underway to boost marine safety and adjust skipper behaviour.


    The trial targets a speeding hotspot on the Swan River at East Fremantle and aims to slow vessels to the eight-knot limit that applies in the area, allowing all water users to share the water safely.


    A radar speed sign is an interactive sign that displays a vessel's speed as skippers approach. The same concept has proven effective on roads to make drivers aware of their speed, prompting them to slow down if they are travelling above the posted limit.


    This water trial, believed to be a world first, will have the radar unit mounted on a navigation aid, with an LED display providing skippers with immediate feedback on their speed to allow them to adjust.


    It was prompted following approaches from Boating WA and Bicton MLA Lisa O'Malley, who reported damage to boats moored in East Fremantle as a result of wake caused by speeding vessels.


    Boating WA worked with radar experts Jenoptik to hone the technology so it could be adapted to measuring the speed of vessels on water.


    The results of the trial will be assessed to determine if the radar will be permanent at the location and possibly used at other locations on the water.


    Recreational boating accidents in Western Australia have resulted in a concerning amount of injuries and fatalities, with 25 lives lost in the last four to five years.


    Last year, the McGowan Government rolled out CCTV at various boating hotspots along the Swan River, resulting in increased compliance.


    Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "The trial is a positive way to address the problem and empowers skippers to be responsible on the water - it is a great initiative which we are happy to be part of in partnership with local member Lisa O'Malley and Boating WA.


    "In conjunction with Department of Transport's marine safety compliance patrols, expanded CCTV and investment in better boating facilities, this Government is seriously addressing the issue of marine safety.


    "The safety of all water users in this part of the waterway will be greatly enhanced because skippers travelling through the area will be better informed about their speed.


    "The results of the trial using this new technology could lead to duplication of the initiative in other known speeding hotspots on the river - keeping WA waterways safe."


    Comments attributed to Bicton MLA Lisa O'Malley:


    "For some time, constituents have told me they are concerned about boat speeds through the busy East Fremantle waterway, and I'm pleased to have delivered this for them.


    "It's important that everyone feels safe on the water and as marine activity is a vital part of life for many in Bicton, I'm pleased to support this decision.


    "Many locals in Bicton use that beautiful stretch of water - be they skippers, passengers, kayakers or swimmers; so I commend the Minister on her commitment to marine safety.


    "With the Easter weekend coming up and many locals out on the water, it's a great time for the trial and I look forward to seeing the results."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500