Esperance council discusses dangerous beach driving after local's call for action

The Esperance council is discussing ways to reduce dangerous beach driving after a local has called for action before an innocent person is killed.

As a surfer and father, Chris Pope has personally witnessed hoons nearly miss other beach goers.

Mr Pope is also an administrator of the Esperance Community Page, which receives several attempted posts every warm weekend, lashing out at these drivers. Most of the posts are denied due to coarse language.

"We've been dodging bullets all these years and something needs to drastically change before someone is killed," Mr Pope said.

He would like to see an increased police presence in the tourist season to deter dangerous drivers.

"These guys are not only creating an environmental impact, but they could be endangering some kid's life that's playing in the sand. I think it's up to the shire and the police to get together and put some plans in place," Mr Pope said.

After he reached out to a number of councillors, the council discussed the issue at a private briefing session last week, with broad support for action.

Cr Steve McMullen said something needed to be done, but pointed out the shire's rangers had a "massive workload" and didn't have the power to issue fines for driving offences.

"If the community wanted, we could have a discussion about rangers showing a presence and patrolling the beaches. But that would be a budget decision because it would be a new allocation of resources," he said.

While not personally in favour of closing beaches to vehicles, Cr McMullen warned a serious incident could prompt state authorities to do that.

Cr Jennifer Obourne said she wanted to see the issue addressed soon as it was already November. Cr Obourne thanked Mr Pope for reaching out and encouraged other residents to do the same.

Cr Obourne and Mr Pope also told The Express they wouldn't want to go to the other extreme by closing beaches to vehicles.

Shire chief executive officer Matthew Scott said the shire had a meeting with local police on Tuesday.

Mr Scott said they would work together to increase public awareness of safety for people driving on beaches.

"We will review and improve signage at the beach entry points and promote the 'Code Off-road' that was developed by the Off Road Vehicle Working Group," he said.