Queenslanders are being urged to keep road safety front of mind as the states mourns the loss of 100 lives on its roads.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said Queensland had recorded 21 more deaths on its roads than the same time last year, following a tragic weekend on the state’s roads.
With National Road Safety Week putting the issue in focus, Minister Bailey said every road user had a responsibility to make safe choices.
“The conversation about how you drive and the choices you make on the road should never stop,” Mr Bailey said.
“People across Australia will share their stories this week about how a crash changed their lives, or the life of someone they loved.
“Sadly, risky behaviours and poor choices contribute to most serious crashes on our roads.
“Every year, about 1200 people are killed and another 44,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads.
“Traffic injury is the biggest killer of Australian children under 15 and the second-biggest killer of all Australians aged between 15 and 24.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government would hold the seventh Safer Roads, Safer Queensland Forum in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“Governments have a role to play by building better roads, improving driver education and training and developing policies designed to reduce road crashes and trauma,” Mr Bailey said.
“More than $1.4 billion is being invested across Queensland to improve roads and make them safer.
“In January, we unlocked almost $300 million in joint funding to start 87 new road upgrades across Queensland.
“Those projects will create close to 1000 jobs and deliver safer roads for families, businesses and industry
“Queensland has also introduced tougher penalties for drink and distracted driving, and later this year cameras that can detect drivers who use their mobile devices while driving will be out on our streets and highways.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was developing a new road safety strategy and action plan.
“That strategy will outline our approach to improving safety over the coming decade,” he said.
“This week’s Safer Roads, Safer Queensland Forum is an opportunity for stakeholders and industry figures to provide feedback about the draft strategic framework, ahead of its release in early 2022.”
Mr Bailey said during National Road Safety Week, Queensland landmarks would also turn yellow to remind people to do the right thing behind the wheel or on a motorbike.
“Queensland landmarks, including the Story Bridge and Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges in Brisbane, and the Victoria Street Bridge in Toowoomba, will turn yellow this week, joining iconic landmarks across the country to promote road safety.
“May they serve as a reminder to slow down on the road, don’t drink and drive, leave your phone alone, rest up and belt up before driving. Such simple things that would save so many lives.”
Now in its ninth year, National Road Safety Week was founded by Peter Frazer, Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group (SARAH) Group president, after his daughter Sarah was killed in a roadside crash in 2012.
“I am proud we have been able to create this week-long focus on preventing death and serious injury on our roads. Everyone has a right to get home safe to their loved ones, every day, with no exceptions,” Mr Frazer said.
National Road Safety Week is held from 16 to 23 May 2021 and each day will focus on a different theme. This year’s event also coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week from 17 to 23 May.