Take care on Capes roads

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
A settling in period will be needed as trucks as well as hoon drivers embrace the perimeter road.
Camera IconA settling in period will be needed as trucks as well as hoon drivers embrace the perimeter road. Credit: Warren Hately

Capes motorists used to quiet roads during the regional lockdown are on notice to take more care as traffic increases.

South West police Supt Geoff Stewart said the expected influx of visitors meant local road users needed to pay attention.

“The risks go up for road trauma,” he said.

“We have had fatalities (in the South West) when restrictions were in place, so with restrictions lifted, there is an increased risk again.”

Last week the Times reported on research showing drivers admitted taking more shortcuts and risks while driving during the pandemic because of the comparative lack of local traffic.

Road Safety and Police Minister Michelle Roberts also said emergency workers did not want to see a big increase in road deaths as restrictions lifted, with “significantly higher traffic volumes” expected on South West roads.

The year-to-date road toll was at its lowest for this time of year in more than a decade, Ms Roberts said.

“It’s natural that after several weeks of lockdown, West Australians will want to visit friends, loved ones or just simply go for a drive,” she said.

“There will be a lot more traffic on the road, and for some, it may have been a while since they have got behind the wheel.

“Let’s continue to do the right thing, be courteous and respectful of other road users, abide by the road rules and make sure your journey is a safe one.”

The RAC also cautioned drivers, with 30 of WA’s 47 deaths this year in regional areas.

“Our lives have changed dramatically in recent months and our priorities may have temporarily shifted, but it’s critical we don’t lose sight of the risks we face when we get behind the wheel,” RAC corporate affairs general manager Will Golsby said.

Ms Roberts and Supt Stewart also urged Perth visitors to slow down, take their time, and remain patient during their travels.

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