Even the most careful drivers occasionally make mistakes. By designing and building safer roads, we can reduce the risk and severity of crashes.

Did you know...

  • Western Australia's road network covers more than 185,000 kilometres
  • Regional WA is home to 90 per cent of our roads, with two-thirds of the network unsealed
  • In 2016, the Auditor General estimated WA’s road maintenance backlog totals $845 million

Safer road design

Better road design and maintenance can play a significant role in reducing deaths and serious injuries on WA roads, by reducing the likelihood and severity of crashes. Road infrastructure needs to be 'forgiving' so that simple mistakes don't result in death or serious injury.

RAC also conducts a survey, called Risky Roads, which asks our community to identify dangerous streets, highways and intersections across metropolitan Perth and regional WA.

A wide range of road treatments are available to improve the safety of new and existing roads:
Action Benefit
Install median lines, median strips or barriers Separates traffic to prevent head-on crashes
Widen and seal road shoulders Provides space and tyre grip for drivers to safely stop or steer back into their lane
Install audible line markings, also known as 'rumble strips', on the road edge or median strip Alerts the driver when they are veering out of their lane to prevent roll-overs and crashing into other cars or objects
Remove roadside hazards, such as trees and poles, or install barriers Prevents vehicles veering into objects when involved in run-off road crashes
Provide overtaking lanes Allows cars to safely overtake without having to cross in the path of oncoming traffic
Resurfacing roads and adding anti-skid treatments Improves grip for vehicle tyres and reduces the likelihood of a driver losing control of their vehicle
Install traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, chicanes and raised platforms Slows vehicles down, reducing the likelihood and severity of crashes
Install traffic signals, red light cameras or red light speed cameras Improves intersection safety by requiring conflicting vehicle movements to happen at different times
Install roundabouts Slows vehicles down, reduces conflict points and collision angles
Install grade separations Removes crossing traffic and lowers the chance of crashes
Install traffic and refuge islands Slows traffic speeds and/or restricts turning movements at intersections. It also provides a safe place for pedestrians to wait when crossing
Install left-turn slip lanes and right-turn pockets Allows cars to safely slow and wait to turn


The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) is dedicated to saving lives through advocating for safer roads and roadsides.The program uses criteria, including crash history, to give roads a risk rating from 1 to 5 stars and show how it performs compared with others across the country.

These ratings provide road planners and engineers with vital information and help to secure funding for upgrades.

An infographic showing the distribution of star ratings in WA. 5% equals 1 star, 22% equals 2 stars, 57% equals 3 stars, 16% equals 4 stars, and 0% equals 5 stars. The length of national highways in WA is 4,641.4kms. Date courtesy of: AAA Star Rating Report - July 2013.

Regional Road Safety Program

The safety of WA's regional road network needs urgent attention - that's why we're calling on Government to fund the Regional Road Safety Program in full.


RAC's position on safer roads

RAC advocates for all Western Australians, whether they are wheeling, walking, riding, using public transport, driving or being driven.

These documents outline our public policy positions, and what we are calling on from the State and Federal Governments to support better mobility for Western Australians.

RAC Public Policy

Federal Priorities for Western Australia

State Budget Submission

Other reports

Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019: RAC's Response to Infrastructure Australia October 2019(PDF 246KB)

Motorist Taxation Revenue & Spending 2019 (PDF 1.4MB)

Western Australian Local Government strategic transport priorities, survey results 2019 (PDF 1.3MB)

Traffic Signals Safety and Efficiency Project: RAC Information Sheet 2016 (PDF 144KB)

Building a High Quality Cycle Network: RAC Mobility Bulletin 2015 (PDF 1.4MB)