An extra $205 million will be spent on making roads safer following a tragic fortnight for Queensland communities.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said almost 30 people had died on Queensland roads in the past month, marking one of the worst periods on the roads the state has experienced in recent years.
“Communities are hurting across our state following a series of crashes that have shocked Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.
“In 2018, 245 people were killed and more 6,000 people taken to hospital as a result of road crashes in Queensland.
“So far this year there have been 95 deaths.
"Travelling on Queensland roads should not come at the cost of innocent lives, and any fatality on our roads is one too many.”
Mr Bailey said this week’s state budget will allocate an additional $205 million over four years to pay for safety upgrades, boosting Queensland’s targeted road safety budget to $900 million.
“That extra funding will pay for upgrades to fix some of the state’s most dangerous roads and intersections where we know crashes are more likely to occur,” Mr Bailey said.
“It will fund safety barriers, overtaking lanes, road widening and wider centrelines.
“The funding will also pay for safer pedestrian crossings and expand the rollout of technology like Hold the Red, where sensors detect an oncoming vehicle will run a red light and hold the red light in the adjoining lane to prevent T-bone crashes.”
RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the Club applauded the investment, noting these relatively low-cost initiatives could be spread across the road network.
“It’s been an horrific few weeks on Queensland roads so we welcome this funding,” Ms Michael said.
“Simple things like installing safety barriers and widening the road greatly reduces the risk of conflict between vehicles and roadside hazards.”
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has identified 26 sections of the state-controlled road network, each about 20 kilometres in length, that accounts for about 10 percent of all of Queensland’s fatal and serious injury crashes.
Mr Bailey said these high risk sections of road would be targeted for upgrades, with works already planned to start for some in the coming 12 months.
This is in addition to safety upgrades on the Bruce Highway as part of the $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program and on the Warrego Highway, under agreements with the Federal Government.
Mr Bailey said it was up to every person behind the wheel to make sure their driving behaviour allowed for everyone to get home safely.
“I've said this before and it needs to be reinforced in light of the number of lives which have been impacted by road trauma in recent weeks,” Mr Bailey said.
“We all have a role to play in making our roads safer – it’s not just the responsibility of government – it extends to industry, businesses, schools, parents and road users – the whole Queensland community.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey