RAC has welcomed additional funding announced today by the Federal Government for key WA projects, however failure to fund urgent regional road safety upgrades is putting the lives of motorists at risk.

RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said the additional infrastructure investment for WA would bring forward important projects which RAC had been been calling for over several years, including the Bunbury Outer Ring Road and Albany Ring Road.

“It is positive to see additional funding announced for major projects, however our concern is the continued inaction by both the Federal Government and State Government to address the growing road safety epidemic in regional Western Australia,” Mr Golsby said. 

“WA is consistently one of the worst states in the country for road safety and we’re facing a road maintenance backlog of $845 million — we can’t begin to address this without adequate funding for road safety improvements."

RAC is calling on the Federal Government to part-fund a State Government proposal which would fast-track upgrades to more than 17,000 kilometres of WA’s regional road network, which has one of the highest rates of road trauma in the entire country.

The $900 million Regional Road Safety Package would install low-cost safety solutions, such as sealed road shoulders and audible line markings, reducing serious crashes in regional areas by more than 60 per cent and saving more than 2,000 people from being killed or seriously injured.

“Deaths and serious injuries are occurring on WA’s regional roads at an alarming rate,” Mr Golsby said.

“Most of these fatal and serious crashes involve cars veering off the road or drifting into the path of oncoming traffic, and could be easily prevented with simple, low-cost road upgrades.

“This year the State and Federal Governments are expected to collect around $4.6 billion in taxes from WA motorists.

“It would take just two per cent of this revenue each year to fully fund this critical road safety package.

“With Transport Ministers across the country set to gather on Friday for the next Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting, there is a real opportunity for this project to be championed.

“The case for this project is so compelling that the funding for it should not only be fully committed, but really should be brought forward to deliver these upgrades as a matter of urgency.”

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RAC Media Contact: Rhys Heron, 0401 703 719 or media@rac.com.au