Sister s death drives keep left campaign

A three-year crusade by a Paraburdoo miner after his sister was killed by an Italian tourist driving on the wrong side of the road has begun to bear fruit.

The State Government will announce a campaign today to remind international visitors about WA's driving rules and, specifically, to drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Run in conjunction with local car rental companies, the Drive on Left campaign will involve the distribution of stickers, steering wheel covers and online information.

Steve Hudson, a Pilbara miner for more than 25 years, said the campaign was long overdue and had the potential to save lives.

"Its more common than people would think," he said. "In a momentary lapse, people revert to what they have always done.

"And for visitors from most other countries of the world, that's driving on the right-hand side.

"It was such a lapse by an Italian tourist that cost my sister her life and left five children without a mother."

Mr Hudson said he recognised the need for an information campaign when he arrived at Adelaide airport to attend his sister's funeral. He saw international tourists unable to speak English but able to hire a car.

"It made me question how they read road signs - or whether anyone explained our road rules to them," Mr Hudson said.

Since then, Mr Hudson has lobbied State and Federal ministers, including WA Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey.

Mrs Harvey said yesterday Drive on Left publications and materials were designed to be read before visitors ventured out on WA roads.

"WA is geographically the biggest State in the nation and distances between remote townships can be vast," Mrs Harvey, who is also Tourism Minister, said.

"We want tourists to enjoy their visit, but most importantly we want them to stay safe - and that includes sharing the road safely with Western Australians."

Mrs Harvey said that between 2008 and 2012, 585 drivers and motorcycle riders involved in a road crash were overseas visitors.

Thirty-seven of these were killed or seriously injured.

The West Australian

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