Look at the lights, not at your phone

Yellow ribbon for Sarah Frazer projected on the Western Australian Main Roads building. Photo: Jess Rowe.

As National Road Safety Week began on Sunday, alarming driver behaviour had been detected on Western Australian roads and highways.

Reckless driving has been captured by the smart freeway cameras on Kwinana Freeway.

Road Safety Minister Paul Papalia told The West Live podcast the cameras were set up for traffic management, but had captured drivers breaking the law.

“We weren’t looking to find this reckless behaviour, but now that we have, we are investigating ways to penalise the drivers who are breaking the law and risking lives,” Mr Papalia says.

Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner says: “The images of drivers using their mobile phone while behind the wheel highlight mobile phones continue to be a major cause of inattention while driving.”

Mr Warner says between 2016 and 2020, 524 people were killed or seriously injured in inattention-related crashes in WA.

Infographic: Jess Rowe.

“The WA Government is considering the use of new technology to further deter drivers from using their mobile phone while behind the wheel,” he says.

“This would include changes to legislation.”

“National Road Safety Week is an opportunity for us all to stop and reflect on our own driving behaviour and make a change, no matter how big or small, that could save your life or someone else’s.”

Road Safety Commissioner, Adrian Warner

Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group president and Founder of National Road Safety Week Peter Frazer created National Road Safety Week after his daughter, Sarah, was killed in a road crash.

Mr Frazer says a truck drove into Sarah and a tow truck driver, Geoff Clark, as they were pulled over in the emergency lane on a highway in NSW.

“She was crying at the time because she was trapped on that road, the barrier only went for 1600 metres, the emergency lane was as wide as my arms, 1.5 metres wide and she was left in a 110km parameter traffic with three lanes and nowhere to be safe,” he says.

Mr Frazer says the truck driver has never admitted what he was doing at the time, but it is believed to be inattention.

More than 60 landmarks across Western Australia have been to be illuminated in yellow to remember the lives lost to road crashes.

Mr Frazer says: “When we buried Sarah, I tied a yellow ribbon to the back of our car. It was her favourite colour.”

Today Mr Frazer is set to fly into Perth so view the shining Western Australian landmarks.

“I’m going on a tour around Perth tonight with the Road Safety Commission,’ Mr Frazer says.

“Optus Stadium will be lit up in yellow, King’s Park has also been lit up, there is yellow in the trees and a raft of other things and it’s just extraordinary,” he says.

President of Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group and Founder of National Road Safety Week, Peter Frazer. Photo: Supplied.

Western Australia is important to the SARAH Group as it was the first state to introduce SLOMO legislation that Mr Fazer fought so hard for.

Mr Frazer says the Slow Down, Move Over law is for when people are travelling along and they see flashing lights on the road ahead they have to slow down and move to the adjacent lane so that they give drivers’ space.

Mr Frazer says next year National Road Safety week will be launched in WA.

Message from Peter Frazer to West Australians.

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