Truck boss explains how Bruce Hwy upgrades will save lives
FEW people know the dangers of the Bruce Hwy better than Graham Richers.
With trucks from his Richers Transport fleet travelling along the infamous stretch between Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast up to 80 times a day, he's seen more than his fair share of horror crashes over the years.
It's why the businessman has backed New Regional's calls for federal funding to be allocated for Section D of the Cooroy to Curra upgrade.
The successful trucking business owner said the current state of the highway between Gympie and Maryborough was "extremely dangerous" for heavy vehicles.
He said the proposed four-lane highway expansion would reduce the risk of road deaths along the notorious stretch.
Mr Richers said the government should make safety the number one priority for motorists.
"Because our trucks go back and forth through the day, we end up using the highway about 80 times a day at least," Mr Richers said.
"It would make a huge difference to bypass Gympie and the intersection of the Wide Bay Hwy and Bruce Hwy.
"There would be less stop-starts through to Gympie, improved times and less wear and tear on our equipment."
Mr Richers said the wider community would also benefit from more people using the upgraded highway.
"It will definitely get more tourists if people see a good highway through the region," he said.
"Having four-lanes would make a big difference for Maryborough and Hervey Bay, because people wouldn't be deterred by the road quality or safety.
"In my opinion, the work that's been done through to Gympie is first-class.
"But north from there, it's very ordinary."
It follows Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien calling for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to prioritise the last leg of funding for Section D of the Bruce Hwy upgrade.
He presented a book he had compiled, The Case for Cooroy to Curra Section D, to Mr Turnbull last week.