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$2.6m for WA summer road safety campaign

AAP logoAAP 22/12/2016 Rebecca Gredley

An additional $2.6 million has been allocated to a road safety blitz for the holiday season as Western Australia faces its highest road toll in six years.

The funding will be put towards overtime for additional road traffic police, random breath testing, roadside drug testing, and regional police operations.

The campaign will target a 250km radius around Perth, where 70 per cent of regional road fatalities occurred this year, and includes roads such as Great Eastern Highway, Great Northern Highway and Albany Highway.

So far this year, 189 people have died on WA roads, 117 on regional roads and 72 in the metropolitan area, exceeding last year's total of 161 fatalities.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said while 2016 was the best in six years for metropolitan road fatalities, it was the worst for regional road fatalities.

"All of those crashes were preventable. Every single one of those crashes has involved speeding, people not wearing seatbelts, drink driving, drug driving, fatigue, distraction," she said on Thursday.

"We need motorists to make better decisions, we need the family of motorists to help them make better decisions.

"Don't let your drunk brother or sister get behind the wheel of a vehicle and kill themselves and other people."

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan urged drivers to pay attention, particularly over the busy holiday period when many people were expected on the roads.

He said police did not have a magic bullet for road safety and they relied on people to be responsible with their driving.

Double demerits begin from midnight on Thursday until midnight on January 8.

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