The Shire of East Pilbara is the largest Shire in the Southern Hemisphere. The Shire has a vast network of roads, both dirt and bitumen which it has to maintain throughout some of the most extreme climate conditions this country has on offer. Being located in a remote part of Western Australia, driving is the main form of transport. It is not only critical that we provide the best roads we can to drivers but that drivers also remain vigilant whenever using our road network.
Maintaining our road network is a continual process therefore we remind road users to never expect the same conditions and always be prepared to slow down or make diversions, particularly in wet season. Road warning and advisory signs are placed for road user safety and we remind all drivers that it is a requirement to follow the indications of the signs. Examples may be reduced speed limits, existing washouts after rain, road closures due to recent rain as well as general roadwork and maintenance signs. During dusk and dawn it is not unusual to see cattle straying close to the edge of the roadside.
There are three towns located within our Shire; Marble Bar, Nullagine and Newman. The drive from Marble Bar to Newman, via Nullagine is 308.4 km's and takes almost 4.5 hours.
Not too far from our Shire boundary is Port Hedland. The road to Port Hedland is bitumen all the way for 445.8km's and takes almost 5hrs to drive.
Due to the nature of industry in our region the roads are extremely busy with road trains, extra wide vehicles and mining equipment. After Easter, up until early September, there is a large increase in the amount of tourists using our road networks with many of these vehicles towing caravans or trailers.
Patience is a necessity when driving, no matter where you are, and planning is a critical factor when driving to ensure both a safe and pleasant drive.
Planning a Trip
The most basic assumptions about safe driving can often be the factor that turns a great trip into something you would rather forget. There are many things to consider when driving in remote areas and the following points are just a few you should be considering prior to remote driving in extreme conditions:
• Always ensure your vehicle is roadworthy
• Is your vehicle suited to the distances and conditions you wish to drive?