Road Safety and Tourism Minister Liza Harvey will introduce a series of ‘Drive on Left’ materials designed to be read by visitors before they venture out on WA roads.
“Western Australia is geographically the biggest State in Australia and the distances between remote townships can be vast,” Mrs Harvey said.
“We want tourists to enjoy their visit and all that our State has to offer but most importantly we want them to stay safe – and that includes sharing the road safely with West Australians.
“Many visitors come from countries where they drive on the opposite side of the road. Learning to drive in the left lane may take some time and a period of adjustment.”
Between 2008 and 2012, 585 overseas visitors were involved in road crashes. Thirty-seven of them were killed or seriously injured. The ‘Drive on Left’ initiative, which includes stickers, steering wheel covers and online information, will be promoted through participating car rental companies.
The Minister said discussions with car rental organisations, including Avis, Bayswater Car Rental, Budget, Hertz, Raw Hire, Redspot and Thrifty, had been positive and supportive.
The announcement of the ‘Drive on Left’ campaign coincides with the anniversary of the annual United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 initiative. Launched on May 11, 2011 in more than 100 countries, the plan’s objective is to stabilise and reduce the forecasted level of global road traffic deaths by 2020.
“Road trauma around the world is considered a major public health problem. Even in developed countries, road crashes result in tragic outcomes. We need to help visitors stay safe on WA roads and do all we can to ensure they enjoy their travels here,” Mrs Harvey said.