RACQ was formed in 1905 with the aim of establishing a strong voice for Queensland motorists, representing their interests to all levels of government, industry and the general public.
One of its first achievements was to produce and install much needed road signage to ensure the State’s motoring pioneers could find their way safely on a primitive road network designed for horse and carriage.
More than a century later, the fundamental objective of RACQ’s advocacy on behalf of members remains safe, affordable and sustainable motoring.
In pursuit of this objective, the club works with industry and governments to deliver positive outcomes for motorists, while engaging all forms of media to provide a wide range of advice, assistance and warnings to Queenslanders.
An example of the club influencing road safety legislation came in the form of child restraint laws, which were introduced in March 2010. RACQ worked closely with Queensland Transport in the development of the legislation after club research showed almost half of Queensland’s four-to-seven year olds travelling in cars were not properly restrained.
In 2008, the club undertook field tests that revealed Brisbane’s morning peak hour traffic increased fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions by around 30 percent. The tests demonstrated that any serious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the road transport sector must include effective congestion-relieving measures.
It was a win for motorists and for the environment when the Queensland Government’s Climate Q strategy, released in July 2009, cited the RACQ’s research and included $39.3 million for initiatives to improve traffic flow for reduced emissions.
More recently, in 2012, the RACQ mounted its most ambitious, and successful, campaign ahead of the state election to secure policy commitments from the key parties.
The two major political parties committed to national highway upgrades, more on-road police patrols, a freeze on vehicle registration fees, and greater fuel price transparency. Post-election, within three months the new government delivered on its specific promises to:
- Form a Crisis Management Group, of which the RACQ’s President is a member, to fix the Bruce Highway
- Deliver an additional $100m pa for 10 years for Bruce Highway upgrades (if the Federal Government provides its share)
- Freeze vehicle registration fees on private vehicles for the three-year term of the government
- Begin to investigate greater fuel price transparency.
In late 2012 the RACQ recorded a significant advocacy win with the Queensland Government’s decision to officially designate driver distraction as an additional fifth factor to the traditional ‘Fatal Four’ of driver behaviours contributing to road crashes and trauma. RACQ has long maintained that even momentary driver distraction is a big contributor to the road toll. While only overt distractive behaviours, such as irresponsible mobile phone use while driving, can be proactively enforced, we expect that the new focus on distraction will lead to more concerted and effective education efforts against this previously ignored killer.
In conjunction with other state-based motoring groups, RACQ also delivers highly influential national safety programs, such as the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
AusRAP provides a safety rating for roads across Australia, in order to show governments how well, or badly, their roads are performing in terms of serious injury crashes and fatalities. The program has played a direct role in countless road funding initiatives, and has helped draw attention to the need for critical safety and capacity upgrades on key links such as the Bruce, Warrego and New England highways.
ANCAP gives consumers consistent information on the level of occupant protection provided by vehicles in serious front and side crashes. Where ANCAP rates the safety of new vehicles, the RACQ also contributes to the Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) program that provides car buyers with safety information on used vehicles based on actual crash history.
Other recent campaigns by the RACQ have included the suspension of the ethanol mandate to ensure Queensland motorists were not forced to pay more for their fuel; right to repair laws to give choice to motorists about who repairs their car; the removal of stamp duty on vehicles rated five-star for safety and emissions; and the investment of all traffic-fine revenue in safety-related road improvements.
These examples highlight RACQ’s ongoing efforts to represent the motoring interests of our 1.2 million members and their families.
If you would like to know more about RACQ's advocacy objectives, see Advocacy for Motorists.