Majority staying home reflected in quiet Easter weekend on WA roads

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

With borders closed throughout the state and restrictions on all non-essential travel amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 Easter long weekend looked a little different across Western Australia.

And it seems calls to stay home were heard loud and clear with roads and streets unusually quiet for the annual holiday - bringing with it one of the lowest Easter road tolls in years.

Traffic volumes on major routes like the Forrest Highway and South Western Highway were close to 90 per cent lower than Easter 2019.

Western Australia recorded one death on the roads over the four-day period after a 17-year-old woman tragically died in a serious crash in the South West.

This compares to two road fatalities during Easter last year and five in 2014.

Across the country, Australia's Easter long weekend road toll also fell significantly in 2020 compared to 2019.

The reduction in road trauma is also good news for our frontline emergency services, doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff who are working around the clock to fight this pandemic.

Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts

Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts praised WA drivers for their safe behaviour on the roads over the long weekend - typically a very "busy and dangerous" time on the roads.

"Easter is traditionally a time when families head away for the weekend," she said.

"Many people take the opportunity to head out of the city towards the very many beautiful holiday spots around our state."

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Mrs Roberts said the reduction in the number of motorists on the road due to strict coronavirus lockdowns measures was likely the reason behind the the drop in road-related deaths.

"With significantly lower traffic volumes, and less people travelling some of those long distances, we did see a reduction in serious and fatal crashes," she said.

"This highlights how people did the right thing and stayed home.

"The reduction in road trauma is also good news for our frontline emergency services, doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff who are working around the clock to fight this pandemic."

The road toll for Western Australia so far in 2020 is 38 - significantly less than previous years and the lowest it has been since 2010.

Statistics up until April 15 show there have been 12 fatalities in the metropolitan region and 26 on regional roads - a total of 15 less than this time last year.

West Australians are still advised during the COVID-19 pandemic not to drive anywhere unless it is essential.

Mrs Roberts urged drivers, if they did have good reason to be on the road, to be fully focused behind the wheel.

"The lack of traffic on our country roads might tempt some people to drive faster, but please don't," she said.

"Even one death on our roads is one too many.

"Motorists need to be totally focused on the task of driving, because even a moment's inattention can have devastating consequences."

This story Majority staying home reflected in quiet Easter weekend on WA roads first appeared on Mandurah Mail.