Australia to investigate Perth road where Singaporean man died in car crash

Emergency services at the site of the crash where a man was driving along the Indian Ocean Drive south of Lancelin, a small town north of Perth, when it crashed with another vehicle.
Emergency services at the site of the crash where a man was driving along the Indian Ocean Drive south of Lancelin, a small town north of Perth, when it crashed with another vehicle.PHOTO: 7NEWS
The man was driving along the Indian Ocean Drive south of Lancelin, a small town north of Perth, when it crashed with another vehicle.
The man was driving along the Indian Ocean Drive south of Lancelin, a small town north of Perth, when it crashed with another vehicle.PHOTO: 7NEWS

SYDNEY - Western Australia's road safety authority plans to investigate a notoriously dangerous stretch of road where a 40-year-old Singaporean father died while driving with his family on Monday, amid concerns that foreign drivers struggle with the conditions.

The Singaporean man, identified as bank business analyst Tan Y L, died at the crash site north of Perth. His wife, Madam Ngan L Y, and their two children who were also in the car escaped with minor injuries. The family was visiting Perth from Singapore.

Madam Ngan was taken to Royal Perth Hospital and was discharged on Wednesday (June 7), a hospital spokesman said. It is believed the children were released earlier.

Police in Western Australia appealed for information about the crash, which occurred at 12.45pm on Monday on Indian Ocean Drive, a tourist road which opened in 2010.

"Police investigating the crash would like to speak to anyone who saw the crash or either vehicle prior to the crash," police said in a statement.

Police said the Singaporean family collided with a four-wheel-drive towing a camper trailer. The driver was a 64-year-old woman who was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

 

The authorities have expressed concern about the road's safety and warned that foreign drivers sometimes struggle with the local road conditions. In April, a Malaysian driver was charged following a crash on the road that left seven people injured.

The state's Road Safety Commissioner, Mr Kim Papalia, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that the authorities were considering various measures to make the road safer, including installing more roadside rest areas. He said the road has had four deaths and 77 injuries between 2012 and 2016.

Mr Papalia said an audit would be scheduled either this year or next year. His office said the road had been identified as a candidate for a safety audit before Monday's crash.

"The Road Safety Commission will look to conduct a safety audit of Indian Ocean Drive, to identify any aspects of the road that present a high risk to drivers and work on possible solutions to those risks," Mr Papalia said.

In an interview with ABC News, Mr Papalia said the state's roads posed risks for international drivers.

"The risk in WA (Western Australia) is our unique sort of roads, the long distances you travel between towns, the opportunity and awareness about road use in this state," he said. "It can come down to simple things like driving on the left side of the road and the speeds that we travel at."

A state MP who represents the area, Mr Shane Love, said the road was not designed for the amount of traffic it now accommodates, particularly on holidays.

"I think the lack of passing opportunity leads to people becoming impatient and people are ignoring the double white lines," he told ABC News.

"I think we need better signage. I think some of the visitors who come to the area are probably not as respectful of the white line situation as they should be."

Figures provided by Western Australia's roads agency showed daily traffic on the road increased by more than 30 per cent between 2010 and 2014.

Indian Ocean Drive provides access to beachside towns north of Perth and is popular with Australian and foreign tourists.

The crash occurred on Monday, which was a public holiday in Western Australia.

Mr Papalia told The Straits Times that there is more traffic on long weekends and during holiday periods, with drivers who may not be familiar with the conditions of the road.

Additional reporting by Tan Tam Mei