Shire CEO tells of road toll pandemic at Cranbrook road safety forum

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithGreat Southern Herald
Cranbrook Shire Council.
Camera IconCranbrook Shire Council. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Shire of Cranbrook chief executive Greg Blycha says we are living in a pandemic but he isn’t talking about COVID-19.

The pandemic he wants action on is WA’s high rate of road trauma and the dozens of deaths on regional roads each year.

This was one of the key messages Mr Blycha was pushing at the Great Southern Road Safety Forum last Thursday.

“There have been over 140 deaths this year on our WA roads but COVID-19 gets all the attention,” Mr Blycha said.

“One hundred-and-sixty deaths is considered a good year.”

This is the fifth year that the forum has been run in Cranbrook to explore approaches to reducing road trauma.

The Road Safety Commission outlined its road safety strategy until 2030, running through the targets it had set to reduce road trauma.

Main Roads WA addressed infrastructure projects, while police spoke about the behaviours they were on the lookout for.

Mr Blycha said he was glad the forum was well attended by the community, a show of enthusiasm for saving lives.

“The Great Southern is over-represented (with deaths) year after year,” he said.

“In regional areas there are less police, cameras and longer distances, and those challenges aren’t going to go away.

“People talk about reducing road trauma but I think the key word in the conversation should be “eliminate”.

“If you reduce 160, you get 159 and that is still a lot of people dying.”

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