Safe driving saves lives. Whether you're a light or heavy vehicle driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian, we are all responsible for ensuring everyone has a safe and enjoyable journey on the road.
For the most up-to-date information on road safety, rules, statistics and more, visit the Road Safety Commission.
Sharing the road
Cars are not the only vehicles on our roads. You could also encounter heavy vehicles, motorcyclists, pedestrians, cyclists, wildlife and road workers. You may also need to know how to share a road when the lanes are electronically controlled.
Sharing the road requires patience and courtesy. We want to ensure all road users make it to their destinations safely.
Securing Your LoadLoad safety is road safety. Unsecured loads pose a serious danger to other road users and the public. To prevent injury to people and property, ensure your load is safely secured to your vehicle.
It is an offence under WA transport laws if your load is not properly restrained and is at risk of falling from your vehicle. The safe loading of vehicles is vitally important in preventing injury to people and damage to property.
A load can be anything from household goods to building materials and green waste. If you are transporting objects with your vehicle, these things need to be secured and restrained.
Reasons to secure your load:
- The debris can cause road congestion.
- Drivers will swerve to avoid fallen items, which can cause them to lose control and cause a collision.
- Unsecured objects may fall from vehicles on to other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists. At highway speeds, these objects can become deadly projectiles that cause serious injury or death.
- Debris on the roads can enter the environment and impact the native flora and fauna.
Important tips to remember when securing a load:
- A heavy load is just as likely to fall off as a light one.
- No matter how many times you have transported a load in the past, always check that it is properly restrained.
- There is a greater chance of losing a load when braking at low speed than high speed.
- Use good quality restraint equipment that is well maintained.
- Use a vehicle and suitable restraint equipment for the type of load you are carrying.
- Failure to restrain a load correctly may result in legal action, including a fine of up to $5,000 for individuals.
Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists when travelling on the road, and if you are a pedestrian and cyclist, be aware of the vehicles around you.
Vehicles must give way to pedestrians
- when turning
- when making a u-turn
- at all intersections and stop signs
- at all pedestrian crossings
A green traffic signal does not automatically mean go. It is important to exercise caution around “high risk pedestrians” such as young children and adults older than 60.
Learn more about pedestrian road safety from the Road Safety Commission.
Cyclists are a vulnerable group of road users due to the increased risk of serious injury when using the paths and roads. They still share the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and must obey the road rules.
Helmets are compulsory for all cyclists in WA. It is also recommended that cyclists wear additional visibility accessories, such as reflective clothing or flashing light attachments.
Cyclists of all ages are allowed to ride on WA footpaths, but they should give pedestrians the right of way.
Drivers must maintain at least 1 m distance when overtaking cyclists and give way when crossing into bicycle lanes.
Learn the rules and recommendations for cyclist road safety from the Road Safety Commission.
Road workers and traffic controllers work in high-traffic environments, which can present many potential hazards.
These hazards can be avoided with speed reductions, lane closures, safety barriers and proper safety equipment. Please be aware and slow down when approaching any construction areas on the road.
For everyone's safety, it is important to follow all signage and the directions of traffic controllers around roadworks.
Large trucks are a common sight throughout WA. Oversize heavy loads and road trains are frequent travellers in remote regional areas.
It is always safer to stay behind a slower vehicle rather than taking unnecessary risks to overtake. Road trains can be up to 60 m long, so it may take longer than you anticipate to get around them.
Heavy vehicles are not able to stop as quickly as cars. Maintain a safe distance at all times, and do not cut in front of a heavy vehicle. These trucks also have large blind spots. If you can't see the side mirrors on a truck, the driver cannot see you.
If you come across an oversize load with a Pilot or traffic escort vehicle, please slow down, move to the left, be prepared to stop and follow their directions.
Similar to cyclists, motorcyclists are a vulnerable group of road users. They have little protection in the event of a crash. It is mandatory to wear a helmet in Western Australia and recommended to wear protective clothing.
It is important for drivers to be aware and check your blind spots for motorcyclists before merging or changing lanes.
Motorcyclists should also stay alert at all times and know all the rules of the road. According to WA crash data, in 60% of motorcycle crashes in 2016, there was no other vehicle involved.
Learn more about motorcycle safety tips and guides from the Road Safety Commission.
- Watch out for warning signs on the road. Different regions have different animals.
- Be alert for animals on the road, particularly dusk and dawn. Animals on the road can be unpredictable. They may head towards your vehicle or freeze in place.
- Try not to swerve violently to avoid an animal as this can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Slow down and sound your horn if you encounter an animal.
While driving around Perth, you may see electronic signs managing the lanes on the road. If you drive through the Northbridge Tunnel or along Kwinana Freeway Northbound between Canning Highway and Narrows Bridge, you will see an innovative Lane Use Management System.
This system allows the operations team to open and close lanes, change speed limits and provide emergency access. Electronic message signs will also display alerts or information for drivers.
- A red X means the lane is closed. Exit the lane as soon as possible.
- Flashing yellow means proceed with caution.
- A green arrow means the lane is open.
- A number on a circle background is the speed limit. It may not always be the same each day.
- A white arrow pointing to another lane means change lanes where indicated.
The smart system keeps traffic flowing during peak hours and enhances safety when incidents occur. Make sure you follow all signs or messages when driving on these roads.