WA fleet drivers targeted in road safety campaign

Fleet services operating in Western Australia should be aware of a month-long campaign to recognise and target the risk of inattention on state roads.

The June action began over the long weekend with WA Police enforcing double demerits across the three days and will continue with a number of different initiatives across the Road Safety Council, state police, the State government authorities.

Road Safety Council Chair, Professor Murray Lampard said distracted drivers are the main cause of incidents.

"It is estimated that inattention and distraction are significant contributing factors in nearly one third of all fatal and serious crashes on WA roads," he said.

"Road safety authorities around the world are increasingly ranking this issue as a significant contributing factor to road trauma alongside speeding and drink driving."

Mr Lampard explained that fleet drivers who suffer fatigue after hours behind the wheel are not  the only ones at fault as distraction comes in many forms.

"Any number of things can distract a driver or rider. There are the sources we know, such as the illegal use of technology, personal activities like eating, drinking or applying makeup, and external factors outside of your vehicle," he said.

Western Australia's goal is to reduce distraction crashes to zero by the year 2020 and increase road safety across the state. The strategy 'Towards Zero' concludes by stating no matter how educated and safe drivers are, mistakes can happen because of external factors such as road infrastructure or traffic laws.

"Drivers and riders are expected to drive or ride safely, but the road system must also be forgiving when mistakes happen," Mr Lampard said.

Fleet managers looking to improve safety could invest in fleet management software that can provide round-the-clock roadside assistance when an incident occurs. The software can also track driver hours which can minimise the distraction risk.