‘Tragic’ spike in fatal crashes demands urgent funding
AN ACTION group has demanded immediate action be taken to stop the "carnage" on Mackay and Central Queensland roads.
The Road Accident Action Group said fatalities had risen by a "staggering" 45 per cent compared to last year.
The group's chair Brett Hoskin has written to the Mackay MP pleading for the State Government to roll out a road safety program to put a halt on the "frightening" statistics.
"(As) a fellow local, you are well aware of and understand the burden road trauma is having on the families of those involved in these events as well as our health system," the letter to Julieanne Gilbert stated.
"At present Queensland is the only state in Australia with higher road crash statistics during COVID.
"We need to work together now.
"Clearly our drivers are not getting the message."
Mr Hoskin also mentioned their lengthy campaign to install multi-use rest areas along the Bruce Highway - one for southbound traffic at Gibsons Creek north of Bloomsbury and the other for northbound heavy vehicles at Peters Rd south of Bloomsbury.
"We do not need any more research," Mr Hoskin said.
"We need immediate funding for long term and ongoing enforcement resources."
Ms Gilbert said 2020's statistics on the back of Queensland having the lowest number of road fatalities last year since records began was "very concerning."
"The recent spate of fatal road accidents is very tragic and it's a timely reminder for all drivers to put safety first and to drive to the conditions when they get behind the wheel," Ms Gilbert said.
"We know the majority of crashes are caused by the fatal five - fatigue, speeding, drink or drug driving, distraction and failing to wear a seatbelt properly."
She said Queensland had been uncompromisingly tough on driver distractions including fining mobile users $1000 with plans to roll out more cameras next year which will also be able to detect non-seatbelt compliance.
"The Palaszczuk Government is rolling out $25 billion to build better roads and transport - including the Mackay Northern Access project and $12.6 billion for a safer Bruce Highway, but we all play a role in ensuring others survive every time we drive," Ms Gilbert said.