The Palaszczuk Government is urging drivers to put safety first as Queenslanders head across the sunshine state these school holidays and hundreds of roadworkers work on upgrades.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said with many families expected to hit the road for the first time since COVID-19 started and hundreds of workers delivering infrastructure, drivers needed to pay particular attention when driving around the state’s billions of dollars in road projects currently underway.
“We’ve made huge strides combatting COVID-19, which is why Queenslanders areGood to Go these school holidays, but we can’t afford to see that translate into deaths on our roads,” Mr Bailey said.
“The global coronavirus pandemic has impacted economies around the world, but because we continue to manage the health impacts, the Palaszczuk Government’s has started delivering a plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.
“That includes a $50 billion infrastructure guarantee and continuing major road projects.
“Worryingly though, the data shows more lives have been lost on our roads so far this year compared to 2019, so I’m pleading with drivers to pay particular attention to any changed traffic conditions and keep an eye out for our hard working crews.
In total, 112 lives have been lost in 2020 to-date, 15 more than the same period last year (as at June 25).
“From Cairns to Brisbane on the mighty Bruce to our western roads and the M1, there’s a $23 billion pipeline of road and transport projects supporting 21,500 workers – and we want every single worker to come home safe.
“We’ve also recently announced $1 billion worth of new and accelerated road projects, and the $128 million Beams Road level crossing upgrade as cornerstones of our recovery plan.
“These projects, and the planners, designers, and road crews that work to deliver them are vital to getting our economy going.”
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said it was crucial motorists did everything in their power to protect those working on or near a road.
“Roadworkers are often in high speed, high traffic situations and are very vulnerable to a collision, which is why it’s crucial motorists slow down and take extra care around roadworks,” Ms Spalding said.
“Drivers also need to remember lower speed limits are put in place at roadworks not only for the safety of workers, but also the safety of motorists.”
Mr Bailey said to coincide with the holidays, the Palaszczuk Government was also launching a #KeepSafeThisRoadTrip campaign.
“We know the vast majority of fatalities on our roads are because of the fatal five: speed, fatigue, seat belt use, driver distraction, and drink/drug driving,” Mr Bailey said.
The #KeepSafeThisRoadTrip campaign highlights the fatal five road safety messages through a targeted campaign including: billboard, petrol pumps, radio and Spotify commercials, as well as a strong digital and social media presence.
The campaign encourages everyone to remember the following to stay safe over the holiday break:
- Slow down, stay safe and drive to the conditions.
- Take a break every two hours.
- Make sure you always buckle up and check your passengers too.
- Don’t drink and drive. Save the drinks for when you get there.
- Keep your eyes on the road, not your phone.
Road projects in Queensland currently underway include:
- $1 billion M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun – 850 jobs (for the entire project)
- $812 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway – 680 jobs
- $749 million M1 and busway upgrade at Logan – 721 jobs
- $662 million Bruce Highway Caboolture to Steve Irwin Way early works – 664 jobs (for the entire project)
- $514 million Haughton River Floodplain project at Giru, 40km south of Townsville – 544 jobs
- $497 million Mackay Ring Road – 534 jobs
- $481 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns – 466 jobs
- $400 million Ipswich Motorway upgrade from Rocklea to Darra – 471 jobs
- $121 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade – 260 jobs
- $164 million Smithfield Bypass start of new intersection – 115 jobs
- $150 million Bruce Highway interchange upgrade at Deception Bay – 270 jobs
- $104 million Cairns Southern Access Kate to Aumuller streets bridge decks – 113 jobs
- $75 million Capricorn Highway duplication, Gracemere – 187 jobs
- $80 million Sumners Road interchange – 105 jobs
- $50 million Bruce Highway safety upgrades between Mackay and Proserpine – 95 jobs
- $31 million Everton Park Link Road – 60 jobs
- $18 million Three Moon Creek bridge upgrade, Burnett Highway – 60 jobs
- $20 million Philip Street duplication, Gladstone – 60 jobs
- $19 million Capricorn Highway overtaking lanes, Rockhampton to Emerald – 60 jobs
- $14.5 million Bajool-Port Alma Road upgrade, south of Rockhampton – close to 60 jobs
- $7.5 million King Street upgrade, Caboolture final stage – 17 jobs
- $4.9 million Beaudesert-Nerang Road safety works – 32 jobs
- $4.3 million Eumundi-Noosa Road upgrade – 21 jobs
- $4.2 million Ormeau Park ‘n’ Ride upgrade