Increasing on-road police presence, rethinking education and targeting high-risk regional areas are part of the recommendations RACQ has put forward at the State Government’s road safety roundtable.
RACQ CEO David Carter says we need to act fast and get back to basics to address Queensland’s horror road toll which reached a 13-year high at the end of 2022.
“We need more highly visible police on our roads immediately, and it has to be targeted through blitz campaigns in regions like central and far north Queensland, which saw shocking increases in road fatalities last year,” Mr Carter says.
“We know heavily marked police vehicles significantly deter poor driver behaviour and according to our 2022 Road Safety Survey, 82% of Queenslanders agree we need more on-road patrols.”
Two people have already died on roads in the Bundaberg region in 2023. A motorcyclist who was killed at Childers on January 4 and a 73-year-old man who was involved in a two-vehicle crash at Drinan on January 13.
A Bargara man also died earlier this month when walking on the Bruce Highway at Glenwood, north of Gympie.
Mr Carter says we must also rethink education, designing peer-to-peer, local-to-local campaigns to improve our road safety culture.
“Since 2020, people have been overwhelmed with messages from authorities about Covid-19 safety and rules; we believe future safety messages from fellow road users or respected community members will have better cut through” Mr Carter explains.
“We need education campaigns, where truck drivers, motorcyclists and motorists champion road safety to improve our road safety culture.”
Mr Carter says longer-term solutions must focus on infrastructure and technology.
“Over the next five years we need to see a strong commitment to fix, finish and extend existing roads to make them safer and more resilient,” he says.
“In the next decade, we must improve communication between vehicles, roads and emergency responders by developing a strategy to rollout a 5G network across regional Queensland.
“We also need incentives to increase the uptake of newer and safer vehicles.
“Our recommendations complement Queensland’s current Road Safety Action Plan, now it’s time to get on with it and save lives.”
Within 12 months:
- Regional peer-to-peer road safety education campaigns
- Targeted increase in police presence on roads
- Research into licencing, education and training for motorcycle riders
- Increased funding for regional high school programs
- More detailed and timely road crash data
Within five years:
- Fix, finish and extend existing road infrastructure in high crash zones
- Build resilient roads to minimise future flood and storm damage
- Investigate ways to improve emergency response to regional crashes
Within 10 years:
- Increase investment to projects that improve regional road safety
- Prioritise high benefit-to-cost ratio projects
- Introduce incentives to increase the uptake of newer and safer vehicles
- Improve communication between vehicles, roads and emergency responders by developing a strategy to rollout 5G network across regional Queensland