Safer Roads

Safer Roads

Between 2017 and 2021, over 500 people lost their lives and more than 2,900 suffered serious injuries on regional roads in WA. With one of every two of these incidents occurring on Local Government roads, WALGA’s Budget Submission sought additional funding for a number of important initiatives to improve safety on Local Government Roads.


Making student pedestrian crossings safer was a priority in the Budget, with an additional $2.5 million per year provided over four years to introduce 40km/h speed zones at 165 school crossing locations before and after school. This will be funded from the Road Trauma Trust Account (Speed and Red-Light Camera fines). However, funding was not provided to convert priority children’s crossings to signalled pedestrian crossings, which was requested in WALGA’s State Budget Submission.

Of interest to Local Governments, revenue from motor vehicle licence fees is forecast to be 2.4% higher than initially budgeted in 2023-24 and grow by a further 5.6% in 2024-25. This will result in an additional $9.6 million in 2024-25 and an additional $14.1m in 2025-26 being made available for Local Government roads through the State Road Funds to Local Government Agreement. This equates to a 3.5% increase in funding in 2024-25 compared with previous forecasts. Motor vehicle licence fees will increase 3.9%, however the increase in revenue is primarily due to a larger than forecast number of vehicles registered.


WALGA Comment

The expansion of the School Zones and Crossing Program significantly improves safety for traffic wardens and students using crossings before and after school. However, it does not alleviate the acute shortage of traffic wardens that impacts on the ability to ensure every crossing is staffed every day. As the reduced travel speeds will only apply when the crossing has a warden in attendance, it will not enable the community more generally, including students out of school hours, to cross arterial roads more safely. Significant work is required if the objectives set out in the State Government Active Travel to School Road Map are going to be achieved.

The additional funding through the State Road Funds to Local Government Agreement is likely to help Local Governments absorb the cost pressures being felt in most construction projects. It could also enable Local Governments to proactively incorporate safety improvements into road preservation projects.

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