WA road rule changes likely to impact fleets

Western Australian fleet managers will need to issue new information to all their drivers, after the state government passed a number of changes to road safety laws within the traffic code.

The current penalty structure was compiled by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research and analysed by a working group before it went to parliament. As part of the changes, there will be amendments to fines and demerit points allocations for offences like mobile phone use, speeding and failure to give way.

Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey explained the changes were necessary given that Western Australia has one of the worst road safety records in the country.

"We need to do everything we can to discourage unsafe driving behaviour which is why penalties need to reflect how dangerous these driving offences are," she said.

"This report considered the appropriateness and consistency of offences relating to high-risk behaviours, as they continue to feature strongly in crash trauma statistics."

Minister Harvey highlighted mobile phone use while driving as a key roadblock to safety across the state. She stated that using a mobile today is as prevalent as not wearing a seatbelt back in the 1970s.

"It took fines, enforcement and a change in the community's attitude to wearing a seatbelt to finally change drivers' behaviour - a change that has resulted in thousands of lives saved over the past 40 years," she said.

Despite countless improvements to Western Australia's road safety since 2008, many road users have failed to adhere campaigns so will now be subject to tougher fines and larger demerits.

The changes are set to come into law over Queens Birthday weekend in September. In light of the upcoming amendments, the public will be made aware of the changes through the press, radio, digital and online platforms.

To support the law reform, fleet software could be installed in all vehicles. In the event of an accident, the software can provide an accurate guide for at-scene management and ensure driver safety and process compliance.