Motorists are being urged to slow down and take extra care following a horror few days on Queensland roads, with six people killed in crashes and many more injured.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said the road toll for 2016 was currently 145, two more than the same time last year.
“This tally is a sober reminder that we all need to think safety first when we’re on the road,” Mr Bailey said.
“Losing a family member, friend or colleague as the result of a road accident is traumatic, and I extend my sincere sympathies to those affected over the past three days.
“Road safety is everyone’s issue and responsibility, whether you are driving a car, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, a pedestrian or a passenger.
“Think of the fatal five – slow down, don’t pick up a mobile phone while driving, wear seatbelts and child restraints, don’t get behind the wheel fatigued and don’t drink or take drugs and drive.
“I urge Queenslanders to stay alert and focus on the driving task at all times.”
Mr Bailey said one in three people killed in road crashes were passengers, pedestrians or other road users.
“If you’re ever tempted to do the wrong thing behind the wheel, ask yourself if it’s worth the risk – to yourself or another innocent road user,” Mr Bailey said.
Last year the Palaszczuk Government released the Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan to improve safety, reduce injury and curb the state’s road toll.
The strategy sets a long-term vision of zero deaths on Queensland roads, and interim target to reduce the road toll below 200 by 2020.
Mr Bailey said Queensland Road Safety Week is coming up on 22 August and would highlight key issues throughout the week with activities across the state.
“Road Safety Week is about encouraging the community to challenge the road toll status quo. Let’s stop accepting the risk of death and serious injury as part and parcel of using our roads,” he said.
For more information on how individuals, community groups, schools and workplaces can get involved in Road Safety Week, visit http://www.jointhedrive.qld.gov.au/road-safety-week
To improve road safety, in the past year the Palaszczuk Government has:
- completed 196 projects and invested $151 million under the Targeted Road Safety Program
- upgraded 900km of road using the award-winning wide centreline treatments, providing a wider, safer gap between oncoming vehicles
- installed 181 flashing lights in schools zones this past year, bringing the total to 643
- completed 16 safety project costing $36.49 million on the Bruce Highway
- doubled demerit points for repeat mobile phone offenders and conducted road safety campaigns about the hazards of driving while texting to help tackle the issue.
- enhanced the Q-SAFE practical driving test, and a logbook app to help learner drivers and supervisors
- coordinated Join the Drive to Save Lives campaigns, targeting speeding, drink driving (‘Dry Driver’), distractions, ‘stay wider of the rider’ and young drivers through ‘Settle Down Stallion’
- ‘Dry Driver’ – dink driving campaign
- ‘Stay wider of the rider’ – minimum passing
- ‘Settle Down Stallion’ online campaign aimed at young drivers
- ‘Sixth Sense’ – motorcycle safety campaign with five-time world MotoGP champion Mick Doohan
- allocated more than $3.5 million in road safety community grants to more than 100 community organisations. (deleted a sentence here)
- introduced an enhanced licensing system to improve the safety of motorcycle riders.