The Elephant in the Wheatbelt has generated much discussion in the past year; now we’re hoping it can help generate ideas and solutions.

Today RAC launched the next stage of its five year campaign – #ItsMyElephant – encouraging the community to change the Wheatbelt’s unacceptable road safety record.

RAC Executive General Manager, Pat Walker, said the campaign was moving to the next phase by encouraging communities to share, support and implement their own road safety initiatives.

“We believe that every person in every community can help to improve road safety in the Wheatbelt. Over the coming months, we will be asking Wheatbelt residents to make the elephant their own and think about what they can do in their local area,” Mr Walker said.

“We have already seen some inspiring road safety ambassadors emerging in the region such as Karen who creates painted corrugated iron elephant-shaped art with road safety messages on them. Karen’s hope is to see her artwork displayed all over the Wheatbelt as a constant reminder to drive safely.

“Then there’s Pete who has written a song about looking out for your mates on the roads with a country wave, and the Principal of Moorine Rock Primary School Lyndy, who’s incorporated the elephant’s road safety message into her arts and crafts curriculum.”

Karen Ducat creates painted corrugated iron elephant-shaped art with road safety messages on them.

Karen Ducat creates painted corrugated iron elephant-shaped art with road safety messages on them.

Pete Byfield has written a song called 'Country Wave' about looking out for your mates on the roads.

Pete Byfield has written a song called ‘Country Wave’ about looking out for your mates on the roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Principal Lyndy Richmon's students have made a road safety quilt at Moorine Rock Primary School.

Principal Lyndy Richmond’s students have made a road safety quilt at Moorine Rock Primary School.

In 2015, the Wheatbelt road fatality rate was six times the Perth metropolitan rate, four times the state rate and well above nearby regions.

Sixty five per cent of Wheatbelt crashes can be attributed to deliberate driver choices, such as speed, drink driving and inattention. More than 73 per cent of fatalities were single vehicle run-offs.

It’s my elephant is an opportunity to put theory into practice. We know that there are poor driving behaviours out there and we need to change this,” Mr Walker said.

Last year, in an effort to raise awareness about the Wheatbelt’s fatality rate being consistently and significantly higher than the rest of Western Australia, RAC unveiled the life-sized African elephant sculpture made out of crashed cars as a symbol of the silence on road safety. It spent the year travelling around the region with the aim of breaking the silence about the devastating impact of road trauma and busting the myths to replace them with facts about road safety.

For more information or to share your road safety ideas, visit the Elephant’s Facebook page.