Federal funds linked to road trauma plan

Jacinta Cantatore and Callum HunterSouth Western Times

South Western Highway is one of four major routes highlighted in the State Government’s new nine-year plan to tackle road trauma.

The WA Regional Road Safety Strategy outlines a target of $100 million per year over nine years – $80 million from the Federal Government and $20 million from the State through the Road Trauma Trust Account.

More than 17,400km of regional roads have been flagged for upgrades in the strategy, including a stretch of the highway from Perth to Donnybrook.

Work would focus on providing sealed shoulders, installing audible edge-lining and installing metre-wide audible median or centre-lines on the regional road network.

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The announcement comes as a report by the Australian Automobile Association revealed WA had the highest road fatality rate of any State in the country.

Capel shire president Murray Scott welcomed the calls and said the highway needed upgrading, especially south of Boyanup.

“Going through Boyanup towards Donnybrook heading south, they have spent some money on it, but with the amount of traffic movement now including big trucks, it probably needs more spent on it,” he said.

“It needs fixing up ... there needs to be some work done there.”

Of the 159 fatalities in WA last year, 100 occurred on regional roads with most involving a single vehicle running off the road or drifting into the path of an oncoming vehicle, causing a head-on crash.

RAC general manager of corporate affairs Will Golsby said he was pleased the State Government was taking a proactive stance but funding from both State and Federal levels of government was urgently needed to help reduce the “unacceptable level of road trauma occurring every day”.

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