Avoid WA's deadly weekends

Nicole Cox

June 09, 2007 04:00pm
Article from: AAP

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AVOID driving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and you will have less chance of being involved in a fatal accident, police and road safety experts say.

Latest Office of Road Safety data show that more than half of WA's road fatalities occur on those days.

In the past decade, 17 per cent of road deaths have occurred on Fridays, almost 19 per cent on Saturdays and 15 per cent on Sundays.

About half of all road fatalities were between 2pm and 10pm.

More than two-thirds of this year's 108 road deaths in WA were in the country. Police have warned the greatest area of risk was within a 200km radius of Perth.

Office of Road Safety executive director Iain Cameron said it was largely a case of "anywhere, any time'', but motorists needed to take extra care on Friday and Saturday nights.

"There is some increased risk on Friday and Saturday nights because there will be a higher percentage of drivers potentially with alcohol in their system,'' Mr Cameron said.

He said there were two maincauses of fatal crashes -- drivers who were tired and had been awake for more than 17 hours, and those who took risks or made driving errors.

Regional WA traffic co-ordinator, Inspector Greg Dalwood, said that despite publicity, some road users were still continuing to display "sheer stupidity''.

"The fact of the matter is that people are not taking responsibility or accountability and they are just risk taking, doing outright stupid things,'' Insp Dalwood said.

"It's ordinary mums and dads, uncles and aunties. It's not just the yahoo revheads. It's ordinary people who don't think it will happen to them,'' he said.

"The risk is higher on Friday and Saturday -- it's peak travel time. You've got people going to restaurants, cafes, hotels and nightclubs, and in regional WA, that's the time they are actually commuting and going away for the weekend.''

Insp Dalwood said police were targeting country highways and setting up roadblocks to tackle drink-driving and speeding motorists.

"These (main) roads carry the most movement, so practical intelligence says enforce there and you will influence the behaviour of drivers on those roads,'' he said.

"Then, when they go on to local roads, the influence of that enforcement will carry over on to local roads.

"This is all about changing driver behaviour.

"People just don't care, so it's now enforcement, and education through enforcement,'' he said.