An advertising blitz surrounding the dangers of livestock straying on to roads in the North West and regional WA is about to be launched by the State Government amid a string of serious crashes involving cattle. The Department of Main Roads said the campaign was in the final stages of approval and followed analysis of crash and animal strike data to identify hotspots in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Goldfields and Esperance. The campaign was expected to hit the market in March and would feature on radio, social media and on billboards and shop displays for three months. Main Roads said it had identified strategies to improve driver safety through its animal hazard mitigation program, including the installation of grids, one-way cattle gates, improved fencing and better signage in targeted areas. Latest figures from the department show 149 of the 834 crashes recorded in the Kimberley and Pilbara in the five years to December 2018 were animal related. Fourteen of these animal-related accidents required hospitalisation or medical treatment and 135 were property damage only. Pastoral-related crash severity had decreased by about 23 per cent from 2014-2018 compared to 2006-2010. Main Roads joined other government agencies and parties in 2018 to form the Pastoral Animal Hazards Advisory Group, which has met six times to date. The PAHAG was due to consider other suggestions early next year including creation of indigenous fencing crews in Derby and Halls Creek, the management of former gravel pits near roads that fill with water during rains and attract cattle and potential mustering in problem areas. Derby-based MLC Robin Chapple has been highly critical of the State Government since a question he asked in Parliament last year revealed the Pastoral Fencing Advisory Group had only met eight times since its inception in 2012 and its last meeting was in July 2015. The member for the Mining and Pastoral Region said he was considering drafting legislation to ensure the owners of straying stock were held liable for damage and serious injury or death. “There was always risk when driving on country roads but there had been too many accidents and near misses to not take this issue seriously,” he said. Mr Chapple said he was aware of three fatalities involving cattle on Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley, one near Derby and the other outside of Halls Creek. In July last year, a tour bus carrying 16 passengers struck a bull on Great Northern Highway and tipped on its side, about 90km from Broome. Shire of Halls Creek president Malcolm Edwards, the WA Local Government Association zone representative sitting on the PAHAG, said indigenous fencing crews could be part-funded by State and Federal governments and potentially run as individual business. “Main Roads and pastoralists could also financially contribute and the group could go along and repair fences along the road,” he said. Mr Edwards said he expected new roadside signs — showing cattle crossing the road with words along the lines of “be careful around dawn and dusk because that’s when most accidents happen” — to be rolled out by the State Government next year.