Collie urged to shine a light on road safety

The Collie community is being urged to use Road Safety Week (8-14 May) to shine a light on the tragedy that is occurring on local roads.

Four people have died in single-vehicle crashes in the Collie area since 2016, rocking a town that has seen more than its fair share of road carnage. Most of the people who died were from the Collie community and three were less than 20 years old.

Last year, 195 people died on WA roads – 119 of them in regional areas and 26 in the South West. Another 235 people were critically injured. Of the fatalities, 62% were a result of crashes police suspect involved at least one driver behavioural factor be is speed, alcohol, fatigue, or inattention.

“We need to shine a light on this human tragedy that is occurring right in front of us,” Industry Road Safety Alliance South West chairperson Simon Dent said. “Road crashes have far-reaching consequences be it on the individuals involved, their family and friends, their workmates, the emergency services who attend, and it goes on and on. We are all impacted and we all have a role to play in stopping this trauma and in keeping ourselves and others safe on our roads.”

Road Safety Week is being marked across WA this week (8-14 May) by the Shine a Light on Road Safety Campaign. Major landmarks around the State are being illuminated in yellow and road users are being urged to show their support by driving with their headlights on throughout Friday, 12 May.

Mr Dent said the industry, local government and state government players that made up the Industry Road Safety Alliance South West were supporting the campaign and urged others to get behind it.

Synergy’s Alliance representative Greg Yates said the Shine a Light Campaign resonated strongly with the energy provider’s Collie workforce given the loss of two young apprentices in road crashes in less than 12 months. “While it’s estimated road crashes cost the Australian economy $27 billion a year, we have witnessed first-hand how the human cost is far greater,” Mr Yates said.

Premier Coal’s Alliance representative Jamie Wood said he had also witnessed first-hand the trauma of road crashes through his involvement with Collie Volunteer Fire and Rescue. “Driving is not a game,” he said. “Speed, alcohol, fatigue and inattention kill. We see it too often and it has to stop.”

WA Police’s Alliance representative Supt Mick Sutherland said close country communities felt the effects of fatal crashes harder than most. “The victims are not just a statistic but a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a teammate,” Supt Sutherland said. “If you don’t know them you know their family or friends. Collie police are part of the local community and are not immune from the impact.”

Collie Shire’s Alliance representative Brett Lowcock said the suffering needed to stop. “Every time we get behind the wheel we must think about how we can keep ourselves and others safe and act accordingly,” Mr Lowcock said. “Please show your commitment to road safety and drive with your headlights on throughout Friday, May 12th.”