OPINION: The impact crashes have on our community

To date, the West Australian road toll for 2018 was 158.

Regional roads saw 99 deaths, with 59 in the metropolitan area. That’s 158 heartbroken families and communities. 

While we have all been off celebrating the Christmas season and new year festivities, the state has been grappling with a tough period on the roads. 

Each year, motorists receive the same reiterated “drive safely” message from authorities around the holidays – but still the numbers climb. 

Crash statistics revealed 21 people were killed on WA roads during the holiday period from mid-December 2017 to the end of January 2018, with 14 of these fatalities occurring on regional roads. 

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So far this holiday season, the Peel region has seen two fatal crashes that claimed two young lives. 

Just after midday on December 18, Erskine girl Kimberley Berente was tragically killed in a crash when driving back from the Bouvard coast along White Hill Road.

The crash came just hours after Kimberley had been handed her driver’s licence. 

Happened less than a week before Christmas, the crash has devastated Mandurah’s southern community. 

Just days later on December 21, tragedy stuck the region again. 

A 28-year-old Waroona man was killed when a black Holden Commodore wagon left the carriageway and hit a tree near Coolup. 

Road trauma, whether they be fatalities or serious injuries, have a ripple affect on the community. 

On page four of today’s Mandurah Mail, we have brought you coverage of three serious crashes in the city – in one day.  

Working at a newspaper, our journalists frequently hear of or cover road accidents. 

From intersection bingles to pursuits and freak accidents, I’ve been at the scene of some horrific crashes.

It is never good news to report on but sadly it is a reality in our region.

Having grown up in the Great Southern, in a small town called Newdegate, I frequently travel long journeys on regional roads. 

As I’m about to take a break across the next week, I’m making a pledge to myself to take extra care behind the wheel. 

As more people take to the roads across the summer months, I hope we all think about our behaviour and not disregard those live-saving messages from emergency services. 

Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul or get in touch with her by emailing caitlyn.rintoul@fairfaxmedia.com.au.