Tougher measures for drunk and distracted drivers, targeted education campaigns and preparing Queensland’s road for new transport technology are among a 50-point action plan to bring the state’s road toll down.
The actions are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2020-21, a two year plan to support the government’s goal of achieving zero fatalities and serious injuries.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the latest iteration of the action plan had been informed by a series of road safety-focused community workshops and events held across Queensland over the past 12 months.
“Zero deaths on our roads may sound like an ambitious vision, but it’s the only acceptable vision we can aim for,” Mr Bailey said.
“More than 17 people are killed or seriously injured Queensland roads every day.
“Every one of these casualties has a ripple effect on individuals, families and communities across Queensland.”
Mr Bailey said new cameras that can detect drivers using mobile phones illegally would be trialled in Queensland next year, following the introduction of $1000 fines for drivers caught using their phone behind the wheel from 1 February 2020.
“Penalties go hand in hand with enforcement and under the new action plan the Department of Transport and Main Roads will work with Queensland Police to trial cameras which detect drivers using mobile phones,” he said.
“Road casualties dropped significantly when speed cameras were introduced in the late 1990s.
“This technology offers the same opportunity to improve road safety by reducing mobile phone distraction.”
Mr Bailey said the cameras would also target people not wearing seatbelts.
“The camera trial is just one action captured in the new plan, which we’ve developed following a series of road safety forums in Toowoomba, Townsville, Maryborough, Rockhampton and the sixth Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum in Brisbane,” he said.
“The action plan has a strong focus on improving our road infrastructure, particularly for pedestrians, bike riders and motorcyclists.
“We continue to invest in road safety and make it our number one priority because it saves lives.
“Queensland has experienced a 35 per cent decrease in the number of people killed on our roads since 2008-09.
“The initiatives delivered by the Palaszczuk Government under the Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2015-21 have been critical to seeing the road toll come down.
“There is still plenty of work to do, and this action plan will guide us toward the areas that require our greatest focus.”
Road Safety plan actions also include:
- delivering new education programs for drink drivers and reforms to the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program
- installing flashing school signs at an additional 200 school zones
- a pilot of connected and automated vehicles fitted with Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems
- strengthening of road safety education and outcomes for our indigenous communities
- establishing a database of Queensland speed limits that will provide essential information for connected vehicles and will assist in the development of speed management initiatives
- continued expansion of pedestrian protection at signalised intersections and crossings to enhance pedestrian safety.