Qld’s shocking road toll revealed
The deaths of Kate Leadbetter, Matt Field and motorcycle rider Jennifer Board have added to Queensland's disastrous road toll, which is now almost double for the same period last year.
Overnight, a motorcyclist died when his bike left the road and crashed at the side of the highway at Adolga, outside Gladstone in central Queensland.
The male rider aged in his 20s died at the scene, becoming the 29th victim on Queensland's roads in just 40 days.
His death came after a 35-year-old Redbank Plains woman died following a serious crash at Redbank Plains on Saturday morning. Her vehicle collided with a prime mover.
Chief Superintendent Ray Rohweder said it was "disturbing" to have so many road fatalities in the face of a seven week blitz where police handed out more than 150,000 infringement notices.
"We are in a sad state where we have lost 29 lives this year and that unfortunately is 12 more than last year - we need to get the message to all the drivers...to obey the road laws.
"We are in a situation where people, whether through inattention or deliberate acts, are committing offences that are killing and maiming people."
The blitz was conducted from December 9 to January 29, and during that time there were more than three dozen deaths recorded and 1700 injured in road accidents.
"Police issued more than 150,000 infringement notices to drivers," Supt Rohweder said.
"In spite of that, 37 people have been killed, across 2020- 2021, as compared to 20 last year - an increase of 17.
"There were 1700 injured during that period...200 more than last year.
"I find that disturbing."
During the blitz, a quarter of drivers that were given drug-driving tests were positive, 2100 drivers returned positive drink driving breaths tests and more than 15,000 speeding tickets were issued by police.
"And a further 125,000 issued by camera offences program," he said.
The were 17 deaths on Queensland's roads for same corresponding period last year.
RACQ Head of Public Policy Dr Rebecca Michael said it was "incredibly disappointing" to watch the road toll soar to 29 when there are so many advertising campaigns and warnings on road safety.
"We know the five most deadly causes of crashes are speed, drink driving, not wearing a seatbelt, distraction and fatigue and sadly, most crashes are preventable," she said.
"Every time we get behind the wheel, we need to be making a conscious effort to focus on the task at hand and follow the road rules to help stop the carnage on Queensland roads.
"Every death rips families apart and impacts the wider community."
There was an outpouring of grief for Ms Leadbetter, who was pregnant, and her partner Mr Field after the pair were killed as they crossed the road while walking their dogs on Australia Day.
There was similar outcry for Ms Board, who died on Friday night when a Holden Statesman, believed to be following an alleged stolen Hyundai i30, struck the Hyundai and shot across a median strip and into the oncoming path of the bike as she travelled in the opposite direction.
Charges are pending against both drivers in both incidents.
Originally published as Qld's shocking road toll revealed