New Indian Ocean Dr signs to warn tourists

Bernie Miller from Main Roads WA and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announce the first advisory sign will be just north of the Yanchep Beach Rd and Indian Ocean Dr intersection. Picture: Anita McInnes


THE first sign on Indian Ocean Dr warning international tourists to stay on the left will be positioned about 60m from the Yanchep Beach Rd intersection.

The 2m wide sign will have symbolic ‘keep left’ arrows, and ‘keep left’ spelt in German, French and simplified Mandarin.

As part of the trial directional arrows will also be painted intermittently on the road surface to remind drivers to keep left when driving in Australia.

The trial is modelled on signs used on interstate tourism routes such as Great Ocean Rd and follows several head-on crashes in recent years involving international drivers.

On Friday, November 1 Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said analysis of crash data from 2014 to 2018 showed international drivers were 35 per cent more likely to be involved in head-on crashes, particularly drivers with a licence issued from a country that drives on the right hand side of the road.

Main Roads WA statistics show 51 drivers were either killed or seriously injured on Indian Ocean Dr during that period with four international drivers involved.

Indian Ocean Dr, which connects WA’s coastal tourism hotspots of Lancelin, Cervantes, Jurien Bay and Dongara, will be the first road to receive the signage but other tourist routes including Minilya-Exmouth Rd, Northampton-Kalbarri Rd and Burkett Rd have also been selected to take part in the trial.

The trial coincides with recently started widening works to a 10km section of Indian Ocean Dr to accommodate wide centre line treatments between Wilbinga Grove and Moore River.

In August after another accident in the area a Guilderton businesswoman contacted Yanchep News Online saying she had contacted a car hire firm after some Asian tourists, who had already been fined for speeding, expressed surprise when she advised them to not cross the double white lines.

She wanted it made compulsory for international drivers to do a 10-minute induction course before they could hire a car.