Western Australia Minister for Road Safety Rob Johnson
WA’s Hidden Road Toll In The Spotlight
Victor P Taffa
Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson today launched phase two of the serious injury campaign to highlight Western Australia’s Hidden Road Toll.
The campaign, entitled the ‘Tree of Life’ will use television, radio and print advertising to highlight the emotional, financial and physical costs of serious injuries.
Mr. Johnson said about 2,800 people were seriously injured in vehicle crashes each year on WA’s Roads.
“Road trauma places a huge burden on our community, not to mention the ongoing emotional costs for those injured and their loved ones.” the Minister said.
“Most road users underestimate the number of people seriously injured on our roads and do not have an understanding of the implications of serious injuries, which can leave people with permanent disabilities or brain-damage, changing their lives forever.”
“For every person killed on our State’s roads, there are 14 more people seriously injured, which is about seven people daily.”
“That is seven families each day who experience the tragedy and pain caused by road trauma.” Mr. Johnson said.
“As a community, we should not accept road injuries as being inevitable. We must realise how our driving actions can have serious impacts on one another and the wider community.”
Of the 2,548 people injured last year as a result of vehicle crashes in WA, 1,730 people were hospitalised in the Metropolitan area; 489 in Regional areas and 329 from Remote areas of the State. Each serious injury is estimated to cost $425,000.
The Minister said WA road users had their part to play in ensuring the State’s entire road system was as safe as possible by being safe drivers in safe vehicles, travelling on safe roads at safe speeds.
“The dangerous or careless actions of motorists can lead to devastating physical, financial and emotional outcomes for road users, their families and the whole community.” Mr. Johnson said.
“All road users need to think twice before getting behind the wheel and I urge them to slow down; don’t drink and drive; avoid driver distractions; buy the safest vehicle possible; ensure all occupants are wearing seatbelts; don’t drive tired; and be cautious and courteous when driving.”
“Road safety is a shared responsibility and we need to work together to reduce the number of those seriously injured and killed on our roads.” Mr. Johnson said.
The ‘Tree of Life’ campaign will run until the end of October.