Road Safety Minister Paul Papalia today launched National Road Safety Week in Kings Park, marking the start of a busy week of State-wide events highlighting the devastating impacts of road trauma and what we can do to reduce it.
Kings Park’s Fraser Avenue trees, along with more than 60 other iconic buildings and landmarks all over the State, will this week be illuminated in yellow in remembrance of the 1,200 lives lost and more than 40,000 people seriously injured on Australia’s roads each year.
Landmarks set to shine a light on road safety include Police headquarters, Optus Stadium and Matagarup Bridge. In the Kimberley towns of Kununurra and Derby, well-known boab trees will turn yellow while in the south of the State, Albany Town Square will be bathed in the bright hue.
Flanked by yellow kangaroo paws representing the 166 lives lost on WA roads last year, the Minister took the National Road Safety Week pledge to ‘Drive so others survive’ and called on all Western Australians to also take the pledge this week.
There will be plenty of opportunity for community members to get involved, with the Road Safety Commission and RAC awarding nearly $35,000 in grants to enable 11 local organisations and community groups to host events during National Road Safety Week.
The City of Kwinana and Kwinana Aboriginal Health Team will host a ‘Wheely Safe Kulungas’ morning tea for local Aboriginal families focusing on road safety for kids. The York Community Resource Centre is inviting residents to celebrate the town’s new skate park while focusing on how to stay safe when riding a bike, skateboard or scooter. Also in the Wheatbelt, the Shire of Kellerberin will bring the community together for ‘Fluro Friday’ to highlight the importance of being seen while walking and riding.
In a WA first, a number of road safety projects were also awarded funding as part of National Road Safety Week. The National Resource Centre for Migrant Empowerment received $10,000 to improve awareness and understanding of road safety in the culturally and linguistically diverse local communities of Canning and Katanning.
Further information about National Road Safety Week is available on the Road Safety Commission website, and people are invited to take the pledge at communityconnect.rsc.wa.gov.au
As stated by Police and Road Safety Minister Paul Papalia:
“National Road Safety Week is an important opportunity to stop and think about the many aspects of road safety and focus on what we can do as individuals to drive so we, and others, survive.
“This year, 51 people have already lost their lives on WA roads.
“I want people to realise that this road trauma is preventable, so let us all take the pledge this week.
“It’s wonderful to see communities all over WA getting involved by lighting up local landmarks in yellow.
“While this visual display recognises the lives lost, it may also start conversations about road safety that could save lives.
“I am proud to build road safety awareness and understanding in a community focused way through our National Road Safety Week event grants.
“I would like to thank all of the organisations and community groups running these events and encourage people to get along to them.”