It is only a matter of time before there is a major tragedy on Minilya- Exmouth and Burkett roads, according to the man who tows away the wrecked carnage resulting from incidents in the area.
Exmouth Towing Services owner- operator Aaron Levy said he has towed 15 severely damaged vehicles from crashes on the two roads since the beginning of May, and that doesn’t include vehicles involved in minor incidents.
“Only one or two are possibly repairable and the rest are complete write-offs,” he said.
Mr Levy said only one of the 15 vehicles was driven by someone from Exmouth, with the rest driven by tourists.
“I’ve been doing this business for eight years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” he said.
He said the accidents were mainly the result of drivers overtaking on solid double white lines, swerving for, or hitting, animals, towing caravans and trailers that were overloaded, or erosion on the shoulders of the road from trucks.
Mr Levy said it wasn’t usually backpackers in campervans who ended up involved in traffic incidents.
He said backpackers tended to stick to about 70km/h and have a more “chilled out” approach to their driving.
This was in stark contrast, he said, to the faster, more impatient driving of tourists in modern four-wheel-drives.
Mr Levy said the issue that worried him most was drivers overtaking on solid double white lines.
“I do about 80,000km a year and every trip I will see someone break the solid white line rule and overtake,” he said.
“It’s only a matter of time before there’s a bus of kids or a tour group coming the other way.”
He also believes many caravan drivers do not realise how overloaded their vehicles are.
Exmouth police officer-incharge Sergeant Ian Gilyead said he agreed with Mr Levy.
He said he had contacted the vehicle hire businesses in Perth and asked them to reinforce the importance of not overloading, which included, people as well as luggage.
Sgt Gilyead said he would be trying to get more patrols out and will be asking nearby roadhouses to reinforce the message for drivers to take extra care.
“We are working with Roadwise to address the problem through education and promotion of safe practices,” he said.