Pressure on WA to fix risky roads

Western Australian Government urged to fix ailing parts of the road network, following release of report ranking state's riskiest routes

By Ruza Zivkusic | April 4, 2011

Pressure is on the Western Australian Government to spend more money to fix ailing parts of the road network, following the release of a damning report ranking the state's riskiest routes.

Insurance firm RAC has listed the Reid, South Western, Great Eastern, Great Northern and Tonkin highways as the most dangerous roads in Western Australia.

Roads such as Pinjarra, Gnangara, Toodyay, Marmion and Wanneroo also topped the list among more than 6,000 dangerous roads nominated during the RAC 2011 Risky Roads campaign.

RAC’s head of member advocacy Matt Brown says Western Australia’s poor road safety record will continue unless the state’s inadequate roads are improved.

"Western Australia has one of the worst road safety records in Australia and one step toward improving this is to improve the roads and intersections," Brown says.

"We’re already playing catch-up and can’t afford to fall further behind."

More than 200 deaths and serious injuries could be prevented if the road network is improved, the RAC says.

Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALTA) Executive Director Philip Halton says rural roads are the riskiest because they tend to be the narrowest.

"Country drivers are operating some of the biggest trucks in the world on roads which are actually some of the narrowest roads," Halton says.

"This work that RAC does is actually very helpful in showing the government that there’s a business case for investment on the roads. They are helping present the argument for why funds should be allocated to the roads system.

"Although the evaluation may be negative the actual process of assessing the roads and giving them a score is incredibly helpful to everyone in the transport industry as we try and persuade politicians of all types to bring more investment into the road system."

Halton is also calling for more truck rest areas and overtaking lanes in the state.

"It would be very good to see the government tailoring some of its road investment programs to respond to the findings of RAC."

The RAC says it will now assess all results and identify which roads and intersections have received the most nominations.

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