Organisations and individuals with a road safety focus gather in Cranbrook

Injury Matters | September 18, 2017

Road Trauma Support WA joined a host of local organisations and individuals with a vested interest in road safety in Cranbrook on Thursday September 14 for the third Great Southern Road Safety Conference.

RTSWA joined representatives from the Road Safety Commission WA, police from across the region, local councillors, Mainroads representatives, business owners, concerned parents and local community groups to discuss the challenges facing the region from a road safety perspective.

Like other regional and remote areas of Western Australia, the Great Southern is over represented in road crash data year-on-year with 71 people killed or seriously injured in the region in 2016, according to Road Safety Commission statistics.

Mirroring the statistics for other regional areas of WA, statistics also showed that 61% of those killed or seriously injured were male and 19% aged between 17 and 24 years of age.

Road Trauma Support WA Community Outreach Coordinator, Georgie Sweeting, presented to the group giving some background on the organisation’s history, the services it provides and the ways in which it can support those living and working in regional communities.

The group also heard from Detective Inspector Mark Twamley who spoke about some of the challenges facing police in the region and the operators of a local business offering free coffee for drivers to combat fatigue, one of the biggest killers in the region.

The conference was again coordinated by the Roadwise Regional Road Safety Advisor for the Great Southern, Erin Miller, who brings together the different individuals and organisations with a focus on road safety in the area.

The Roadwise program is coordinated by the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) which, as owners of an extensive road network throughout the State, has an important role to play in road safety.

Collectively, according to data supplied by WALGA, local governments manage 88% of the WA road network where almost two thirds of the crashes occur.

The Roadwise program was founded in WA in 1994 and is funded from the Road Trauma Trust Account and contract managed by the Road Safety Commission of Western Australia.

The aim of the program is to engage local governments and communities in actions that aim to reduce the road toll through the Towards Zero program and is a great way of supporting local initiatives, connecting groups, organisations and individuals and providing access to resources and information.

Erin has worked in this role in the Great Southern region for more than five years and during this time has built up a strong reputation for her ability to bring different elements of the community together, promote and initiate change and was applauded on the day for coordinating another successful event.