Mandurah District Police lead road safety push to save lives this Easter long weekend

Mandurah District Police have issued a plea for drivers to slow down this Easter long weekend, after a tragic start to the year on West Australian roads.

Less than four months into 2019 and 51 people have been killed on WA roads, the second-highest number of fatalities to date in the past decade.

Alarmingly, 27 of those deaths occurred on regional roads.

Seven of these deaths have occurred in the south west region, bounded in the north by the City of Mandurah and Shire of Murray down to the Shire of Manjimup.

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A district-wide traffic operation will see police stationed at certain locations and patrolling the streets in vehicles, conducting random breath tests.

Mandurah Police Senior Sergeant Darren Hart said there will be extra officers policing the streets through the double demerit period from Thursday, April 18 to Monday, April 22.

"There is a very good chance that if you travel through the Mandurah Police District you will see police and be stopped for a breath test," he said.

Getting there ten minutes late is better than ending up in hospital, or worse.

Mandurah Police Senior Sergeant Darren Hart

"They will be targeting the type of offences that lead to crashes being seat-belts, mobile phones, drink driving, fatigue."

Senior Sergeant Hart asked locals who are going on holidays to be patient and take care on the roads.

"Getting there 10 minutes late is better than ending up in hospital, or worse," he said.

Dwellingup Police Sergeant Dave Harnett said officers from Mandurah, Rockingham and Pinjarra will be headed to the hills, patrolling roads for the Pumpkin Festival.

"We're expecting an influx of people in town there's going to be a lot of traffic," he said.

We're expecting an influx of people in town here's going to be a lot of traffic.

Dwellingup Police Sergeant Dave Harnett

"Unfortunately, it has been a pretty bad start to the month on our roads and we don't want to see that over Easter."

Sergeant Harnett asked drivers to be patient, obey the road closures and park at the Dwellingup oval to free up congestion at the primary school.

Waroona Police Sergeant Simon Bennett reminded the community road rules applied around Waroona Dam, which is known to attract hooning and anti-social behaviour on long weekends.

"We have had a change in the weather ahead of the Easter weekend, so it is not like the Australia Day or New Years long weekend where we had the heat," he said.

Regional roads on long weekends are inundated with metropolitan drivers escaping the city for a holiday break.

Road Safety Council chairman Iain Cameron

"It should cool people down a little bit. The majority of people are well behaved."

Sergeant Bennett said the station's main concern was ensuring the safety of people travelling to and from the south west.

"We want to remind people to do the right thing," he said.

Road Safety Council chairman Iain Cameron encouraged road users to avoid driving tired.

"Regional roads on long weekends are inundated with metropolitan drivers escaping the city for a holiday break," he said.

"These 'road-trips' often entail long regional drives, sparking concerns of an increase in tired drivers on WA regional roads.

"Plan ahead and get at least seven-and-a-half hours sleep before you drive. When you're on the road, take a break every two hours, switch drivers and keep everyone and their holiday plans alive."

Mr Cameron also advised road users to be aware of changing circumstances on the road.

"Always drive to the conditions, no matter what the speed limit is," he said.

"If it's raining, as is forecast on Friday, stopping distances will be longer."

There were two fatalities as a result of crashes on WA roads on the Eastern long weekend in 2018.