The Palaszczuk Government and some of Queensland’s peak motoring bodies are pleading with drivers to take care around roadworks across the state.
It comes as more than 21,500 Queenslanders deliver a record $24 billion in major road upgrades over the next four years, and the number of lives lost on the state’s road reaches 161 – 25 more than the year prior.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today joined representatives from the Queensland Trucking Association, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Traffic Management Association of Australia alongside local MPs at the $749 million M1 upgrade in Logan urging drivers to keep an eye out for crews.
“With road safety week in full swing and school holidays just around the corner, I want to remind everyone when they get behind the wheel to drive so others survive,” Mr Bailey said.
“Because of Queensland’s strong response to COVID-19, we’ve been able to continue delivering hundreds of road upgrades throughout Queensland.
“But we can’t afford for the truck drivers, traffic controllers or construction workers building these projects to lose their lives because people aren’t driving safely.
“Anecdotally we know that drivers passing this project and others across Queensland continue to recklessly speed, putting our roadworkers at serious risk of death or serious injury.
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
“Even though COVID-19 saw traffic numbers plummet earlier this year, the number of lives lost on our roads is much greater than last year – those sorts of numbers are really disturbing.
“When you approach roadworks, drive to conditions and follow the directions of traffic crews and signage.
“Remember that behind every stop/slow sign, in every truck and on every site is someone’s mother, father, daughter or son.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto urged drivers to ensure they give heavy vehicles operating around work sites plenty of space.
“Up to four-out-of-five crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by light vehicle drivers,” he said.
“When you see a heavy vehicle be aware that it has a large blind spot, allow extra distance for that truck to brake and allow extra space when turning at an intersection or roundabout.”
QTA CEO Gary Mahon said that Road Safety Week is a timely reminder to reinforce the importance of driving to conditions, recognising signs of fatigue and paying due care and attention to speed limits around all road works sites.
“Road infrastructure projects are vital to supporting the growth of Queensland and these projects could not proceed without the specialist teams on the roadside managing and working on these job sites,” Mr Mahon said.
TMAA QLD Chair Paul Kelly and TMAA QLD Vice Chair John Cassel said:
“The TMAA fully support Road Safety Week and Minister Bailey and his department in promoting safety on roads, safety at roadworks and encouraging drivers to obey signage and slow down.
“We have a three part advertising campaign that will be airing soon which focuses on speed, entitled Your Speed is Our Safety, targeting drivers with the speed reduction message to save lives.”
“As the voice of the traffic management industry, and leaders in collaboration with government and other road and infrastructure based associations, we are determined to reduce road trauma.”
RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said everyone working in high-speed work environments was at risk.
“We all have a responsibility when it comes to keeping roadworkers safe. Please, if you see someone on the side of the road, slow down and move over,” Mr Turner said.
“Whether it’s roadworkers, emergency services, or RACQ Roadside Assistance crews, they’re all doing important work in a dangerous environment and we need to protect them by looking after them.”