BE CAREFUL: Drivers are urged to take extra caution on roads. Picture: Kerris Berrington
BE CAREFUL: Drivers are urged to take extra caution on roads. Picture: Kerris Berrington

Road safety warning after increased fatalities

A SPIKE in fatal crashes and continued wet conditions has sparked calls for drivers to take extra care on the roads.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the past week had been the deadliest on Queensland roads so far this year.

“There has been a series of deaths right across Queensland in the past week,” he said.

“This has included two separate incidents where pedestrians were hit and killed and, yesterday, we heard the shocking news that two more people died on the Bruce Highway south of Mackay.

“(On Monday), a roadworker at a TMR work site outside Moura was struck by a vehicle and airlifted to Rockhampton for treatment.

“So far, 21 lives have been lost on Queensland roads and that number will climb following (yesterday’s) tragic events near Mackay.

“Authorities will investigate those incidents to determine if there is something we can do to prevent them from happening again, but these tragedies are a reminder to all of us about how quickly conditions can change on the road.”

Mr Bailey said with flooding affecting large parts of the state and another rainy week forecast ahead, drivers needed to drive to the conditions and avoid risky behaviour.

“Before you head out onto the road with family and friends, look at the forecast and plan your drive,” Mr Bailey said.

“If you can, avoid driving until the weather clears up, and if you get caught in a quick moving storm or rain event, drive to conditions or pull over if you think it’s unsafe.

“Of course, if it’s flooded, forget it.”

“The Fatal Five – speeding, distraction, alcohol and drugs, fatigue and not wearing a seatbelt continue to be the major causes of death on our roads.

“Put the phone in the glovebox or set it to Do Not Disturb so you’re not distracted by it.

“Drivers and passengers not wearing a seatbelt continues to be a major problem, particularly in regional Queensland.

“These are the easy choices and things to consider before you get behind the wheel that could save your life, or the life of someone else.”

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering more than 60 safety upgrades on the Bruce Highway this year under the $12.6 billion jointly funded Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

Those safety upgrades include more overtaking and turning lanes, intersection upgrades, wider centre lines to separate oncoming traffic and safety barriers.

The Bruce Highway safety upgrades are in addition to more than $900 million allocated over four years for critical road safety upgrades that will be delivered across Queensland by the Palaszczuk Government.

Visit the Queensland Government website for more road safety information.