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Call for more traffic cops

Tim EdmundsGreat Southern Herald
The WA Police Union has called for more dedicated traffic police to patrol country roads.
Camera IconThe WA Police Union has called for more dedicated traffic police to patrol country roads.

The WA Police Union has called for more dedicated traffic police to patrol country roads where the fatality rate is at the highest as the regional road toll continues to rise.

At its annual conference last week, the WAPU called on both the Liberal and Labor parties to commit to an additional 1000 police including 750 frontline officers, 50 health and welfare staff, and 200 dedicated traffic police, whoever forms Government in March at the State election.

The WAPU says the traffic officers should be funded by the Road Trauma Trust Fund, which is about $100 million, it claims.

The Great Southern has one of the worst road tolls of any region this year, with the death of a 45-year-old Mt Barker man last week pushing the total number of deaths to the worst in more than a decade.

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Great Southern traffic police last week condemned the behaviour of drivers, issuing three seatbelt infringements last Thursday.

WAPU president George Tilbury said people were continuing to die on regional roads.

“I believe the only way to tackle the State’s road toll and reduce the number of fatalities is to actively patrol our regional roads with police officers,” he said. “Speed cameras are not the answer, given they can’t stop a person from continuing to speed or detect other offences. Our pre-election submission outlines our recommendation that 200 additional traffic officers, funded from the Road Trauma Trust Fund, be deployed to conduct dedicated patrols of our regional roads, particularly where the majority of fatalities and serious injuries occur.”

Great Southern traffic enforcement Sergeant Andrew Norton last week warned of an increased presence on the roads in the lead-up to and throughout the festive period, but stressed the road safety issue was not the sole responsibility of police, who only dealt with enforcement.

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