Queensland roads would benefit from safety treatments

The State’s peak motoring body has called on State and Federal Governments to fund low-cost safety improvements which would reduce the risk of deaths and serious injuries on some of Queensland’s busiest roads.

It came as the Courier Mail released new Department of Transport and Main Roads crash statistics which revealed a stretch of the Bruce Highway through the Wide Bay had recorded almost 1300 serious crashes, including fatals, in the past 10 years.

The Pacific Highway, Warrego Highway, South East Freeway, Gympie Arterial Road and the Cunningham Highway were also named as dangerous roads.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said while it was difficult to accurately compare the roads due to different lengths and traffic volumes, most were higher volume regional highways, typically undivided with one lane in each direction.

“The most common crash types were out-of-control vehicles leaving the road and hitting objects, intersection collisions, and head-on crashes,” Dr Michael said.

“The higher speed limits on these roads increase the risk and the severity of crashes, so serious or fatal crashes are more likely.

“Some of these roads are lacking the safe design elements that would make them more forgiving of driver error. Things like widening the roads and adding in additional lanes could help improve safety, and also installing safety barriers, clearing roadside objects, widening the centre lines, and upgrading intersections with protected right turn lanes.”

“If the State and Federal Governments focussed on funding small but effective safety projects on these roads, we’d save many lives and prevent hundreds of injuries in the years to come.”