2 January, 2023

Fresh ideas to improve road safety in Qld

THE Palaszczuk Government will bring together transport experts, stakeholders, and industry leaders this month for a road safety roundtable, after a tragic year on Queensland roads.

Fresh ideas to improve road safety in Qld - feature photo

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he’s keen to explore all options to improve road safety with the number of lives lost on Queensland roads in 2022 far too high.

“2022 was a tragic year on Queensland roads with 299 lives lost,” Mr Bailey said.

“What’s incredibly disappointing is the fact that only a few years ago in 2019, we had the lowest toll since records began, but the pandemic has changed many things, including behaviour on our roads and the number of lives lost has been trending upwards.

“This isn’t a situation that’s unique to Queensland, right across the world we’ve seen a similar trend since the start of the pandemic.

“What I want to do is get our transport and accident experts, industry leaders, and key stakeholders all together and see how we can make Queensland roads safer, which is why I’ll be hosting a roundtable later this month.

“The roundtable will include the likes of the Queensland Police Service, RACQ, Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group, Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.”

Mr Bailey said the fatal five; speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, distraction and fatigue were still contributing to the majority of fatalities on Queensland roads.

“Sadly, we lost 299 lives on Queensland roads in 2022, which is the worst since 2012, but well below the 331 lives we lost in 2009, and the 638 lives lost in 1973.

“The majority of drivers are doing the right thing, using our roads in a safe way, and to those people I would like to say thank you.

“But I get reports through every time a fatal crash occurs on our roads, and in far too many instances’ drivers making dangerous choices on our roads are contributing factors to fatalities.

“It’s why we’ve cracked down on the fatal five in recent months.”

Mr Bailey said the roundtable will also be exploring other trends which have contributed to the number of lives lost including motorcycle registrations and extreme weather.

“We saw a huge jump in motorcycle registrations, and sadly, an increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities,” he said.

“In 2019 we had 45 motorcycle deaths, compared to 74 in 2022.

“In fact, motorcycle deaths in 2022 were 43 per cent above the five-year average.

“Another big factor in the first six months of 2022 was the heavy rain and flooding we saw throughout the state where we lost 12 due to driving into floodwaters.

“Naturally heavy rain and storms also create dangerous driving conditions, and this was a factor in a number of the fatal crashes we saw, especially in the first six months of the year.

“Our state budget delivered more than $1.5 billion towards road safety, and all funds raised through our traffic camera offence program are invested back into road safety.

“We’re doing our bit and we need more Queenslanders to do theirs, and that means – slowing down, putting the phone away, wearing a seatbelt properly, not getting behind the wheel impaired by drugs or alcohol, and taking a break when they’re tired.

“With more mobile phone and distraction cameras rolled out and moving around Queensland, a record level of improved road infrastructure completing and open, heavier enforcement of drink driving and safer driving from drivers, I’m hoping to see a better year on our roads in 2023.

“All ideas will be welcome at the roundtable, and we’ll consider the views of all stakeholders.

“I want to hear what they have to say, because I want to make our roads as safe as possible.”


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