- McGowan Government undertaking WA-first multilingual road safety sign trial
- Signs to remind international drivers to keep left to reduce risk of head-on crashes
- International drivers are 35 per cent more likely to be involved in a head-on crash
- Stage one rollout to target key Mid-West tourist routes, including Indian Ocean Drive
New multilingual advisory signs are being rolled out on some Western Australian roads as part of a trial to help international drivers safely navigate the State's most popular tourism routes.
The trial involves the installation of signs with symbolic 'keep left' arrows, and 'keep left' spelt in German, French and Simplified Mandarin. Directional arrows will also be painted intermittently on the road surface to remind drivers to keep left when driving in Australia.
It is modelled on signs used on interstate tourism routes such as Great Ocean Road and follows several head-on crashes in recent years involving international drivers.
Analysis of crash data from 2014 to 2018 showed that international drivers were 35 per cent more likely to be involved in head-on crashes, particularly drivers with a licence issued from a country that drives on the right hand side of the road.
Indian Ocean Drive - which connects WA's coastal tourism hotspots of Lancelin, Cervantes, Jurien Bay and Dongara - will be the first road to receive the signage.
The trial coincides with recently started widening works to a 10 kilometre section of Indian Ocean Drive to accommodate wide centre line treatments between Wilbinga Grove and Moore River.
A number of other tourist routes have been selected for the trial due to the increased incidence of an international driver being involved in a serious crash, including Minilya-Exmouth Road, Northampton-Kalbarri Road and Burkett Road.
Investigation and planning is currently underway to assess the suitability and cost of extending the trial to Brookton Highway and Caves Road.
The first stage of the project commenced in October, with pavement markings already installed on Indian Ocean Drive and signage installation to be completed by mid-December.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"This is a low-cost trial adopted from overseas jurisdictions, which will help international drivers safely travel to some of WA's great destinations.
"Head-on crashes invariably have a devastating effect, so any measure to address the issue is worth trialling.
"Given international holiday visitors in 2018-19 were the highest on record for WA, we want to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep motorists safe.
"$13.5 million of safety improvements were completed on Indian Ocean Drive in 2018 and a further $15.5 million have either been completed this year or about to start."
Comments attributed to Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:
"This initiative builds on the considerable work the McGowan Government has done both in improving Indian Ocean Drive and in making WA a great tourist destination.
"We want Indian Ocean Drive to be safe as possible for both locals and visitors alike, but we also need drivers to drive responsibly and to the conditions."
Minister's office - 6552 5500