Road toll at 13-year high

RACQ and the RACQ CapRescue helicopter service are urging Queenslanders to be more mindful on the road after last year’s road toll reached a 13-year high.

In recommendations put forward to the State Government’s Road Safety Roundtable, RACQ Chief Executive Officer David Carter said we need to act fast and get back to basics.

“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 said.

“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.”

Air Crew Officer Patrick Norton also agrees, saying there are common factors that are seen on-site at Motor Vehicle Accidents.

“Often, we see people that are fatigued and tired and trying to get to their destination quickly and not taking appropriate rest breaks,” Mr Norton said.

Mr Carter said we must also rethink education, designing peer-to-peer, local-to-local campaigns to improve our road safety culture.

“We need education campaigns where truck drivers, motorcyclists and motorists champion road safety to improve our road safety culture.”

Recently, RACQ CapRescue were tasked to a single motor vehicle accident involving a tank truck on the Dawson Highway.

It was reported that the driver of the truck suffered injuries after his vehicle, which was allegedly carrying nitric acid, left the highway and rolled shortly after 11am.

This is the 40th Motor Vehicle accident the Rescue300 crew have been called to in the past 12 months.

RACQ’s key recommendations to the State Government’s road safety roundtable are:

Within 12 months:

  1. Regional peer-to-peer road safety education campaigns
  2. Targeted increase in police presence on roads
  3. Research into licencing, education and training for motorcycle riders
  4. Increased funding for regional high school programs
  5. More detailed and timely road crash data

Within five years:

  1. Fix, finish and extend existing road infrastructure in high crash zones
  2. Build resilient roads to minimise future flood and storm damage
  3. Investigate ways to improve emergency response to regional crashes

Within 10 years:

  1. Increase investment to projects that improve regional road safety
  2. Prioritise high benefit-to-cost ratio projects
  3. Introduce incentives to increase the uptake of newer and safer vehicles
  4. Improve communication between vehicles, roads and emergency responders by developing a strategy to rollout 5G network across regional Queensland