Someone was listening when the Blessing of the Roads ceremony in Esperance took place, said Frontier Services West Nullarbor Patrol Minister Rob Dummermuth, as this year the roads claimed no victims over the Easter break.
The Blessing of the Roads is one way for the SES and the Shire of Esperance to inform the community about road safety and to bless those families travelling on the road to reach their destinations safety. This is the fourth annual Blessing of the Roads for Esperance and the first for the town of Norseman who put on the ceremony after seeing the success it had in Esperence.
The Blessing works on two levels, said Rob, “there is the sacred protection of God’s Blessing and it raises awareness of road safety and being aware on the roads.”
Rob is based in Esperance, but the Patrol covers much of the Nullarbor. The region is very popular with tourists.
Rob estimates about 40 motorists took heed of the road safety message at the Blessing ceremony.
Rob often gets involved with the police rest, revive, survive campaigns, encouraging motorists to stop for refreshments and remind them of the dangers of fatigue.
“I will often have a chat with them and let them know that if they aren’t picked up by the police, for driving irresponsibly, they may meet me – in my role as SES worker, attending the scene of a traffic accident.
The Blessing of the Roads has a long history.
“The idea came from the original Blessings of the Boats, so they would be safe and catch lots of fish. For us, it was a way to raise the awareness of road safety.”
Towns around Esperance also got involved in community awareness. The town of Norseman put on a colouring competition in their local school where children submitted safety slogans or coloured in pictures.
The Blessing of the Roads was organised by the local government body, Reach Out, which is run by the Shire of Esperance.