Communities and advocacy groups are calling on politicians to focus on road safety during the West Australia election, following consistently high rates of road trauma in the South West region. There have been 19 deaths on South West roads since November last year Road safety advocacy groups are calling on political parties to fund road treatments and lower speed limits Run-off road crashes are the most common in the region In November last year, 10 people died in the South West during a nightmare month on the roads. Since then, another nine people have been killed and numerous others seriously injured in road accidents. Several of those crashes occurred on the notoriously dangerous Bussell Highway and Caves Road , a popular tourist route connecting world-class vineyards in the Margaret River region. Road safety advocates are urging political parties to fund road treatments and reduce speed limits, which they say are both key to reducing the risk of serious and fatal crashes. Will Golsby, the general manager of corporate affairs at insurance provider RAC, said the issue needed to be addressed. "There's no doubt regional WA, and especially the South West, has continued to experience road trauma," he said. "We saw a spike in October and November last year and, as an organisation, we're calling out this issue as a real problem on our roads." Industry Road Safety Alliance South West project manager Sarah Stanley said run-off road crashes on long stretches of road made up the bulk of road incidents in the region. The group is calling for audible edge lining, shoulder sealing and the widening of roads in order to provide a buffer to drivers. Caves Road is notorious for high volumes of traffic and crashes. "By far, the most benefit from funding in these areas is around those treatments," Ms Stanley said. "We're all humans and make mistakes, but it shouldn't cost us our lives and it shouldn't put us in hospital." As well as road treatments, the alliance is also urging the next State Government to lower speed limits in high-activity areas. There has been community push back to reducing speed limits over the years, but Ms Stanley said attitudes were changing and more South West communities were calling for speed reductions . According to the RAC, speed is the major contributor to the state's poor road safety record. "Going faster adds a whole heap of risks to the equation," Ms Stanley said. "It's just physics — the faster you're going the harder you hit, the longer you take to stop, the less time you have to react." The WA Labor party has committed an extra $52 million towards the Regional Road Safety Program, among a range of promises.https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-04/road-safety--wa-election-priority-following-spate-of-deaths/13212798
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