Deaths continue on the Bruce

RACQ has joined Federal MP Llew O’Brien in calling for the Bruce Highway upgrade to be fast-tracked in the Wide Bay region following a spate of road crash fatalities.

Tragically five lives have been lost on the Bruce Highway in the region over the past 12 weeks.

Mr O’Brien told the Gympie Times it was vital something was done to improve safety.

“Five deaths in 12 weeks between Gunalda and Gympie is just not good enough and I think the evidence is already there that there needs to be some sort of action taken,” Mr O’Brien said.

“As a former traffic accident investigator and policeman, I feel very passionate about ensuring that people are safe when they’re driving along this road.”

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the recent fatalities were a reminder of how much work needed to be done to bring the Bruce Highway up to scratch.

“What we need is to fast-track construction of the Section D bypass around Gympie,” Ms Smith said.

“Once constructed, the upgrade will save lives by significantly improving safety while also removing high volumes of traffic passing through the heavily-used suburban stretch of Gympie.”

Ms Smith said sections of the Bruce Highway north of Gympie were also of concern.

“We named the Bruce Highway through Tiaro and Gin Gin as the seventh most dangerous section of road in Queensland in our most recent Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) report,” she said.

“The two sections of Bruce Highway from Tiaro to Childers and Childers to Gin Gin recorded an appalling 232 casualty crashes and 30 deaths between 2010 and 2014.”

RACQ has welcomed significant investment in the Bruce Highway over the past few years, but Ms Smith said more needed to be done.

“The Federal and State governments need to fast-track the 10-year program of works to deliver safer roads sooner,” she said.

“Safety improvements south between Cooroy and Gympie since 2010 have delivered a 50 percent reduction in injury crashes – we need to see these results further north in the Wide Bay region.”

Ms Smith said the safety improvements required on the Bruce Highway included:

  • Safety barriers or removal of roadside hazards
  • Shoulder widening and wide centreline treatment
  • Intersection improvements (protected right turn lanes)
  • Overtaking lanes or additional lanes
  • Audio tactile line markings (rumble strips).