Drive safe as lives lost on Qld roads up despite traffic down

Published Tuesday, 21 April, 2020 at 03:30 PM

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Stay at home, but if you need to drive for an essential reason remember to drive safely.

That’s the message to Queensland drivers with worrying new stats revealing more lives are being lost in 2020 on the state’s roads despite traffic volumes plunging more than 30 per cent across many major roads.

The latest available data shows 61 lives have been lost on Queensland roads in 2020 compared to 57 the same time last year.

That’s while traffic is down on the year prior by:

  • 38 per cent on the M1 at Springwood
  • 34 per cent on the Bruce Highway, North Lakes
  • 27 per cent on the Ipswich Motorway, Goodna
  • 37 per cent on the Bruce Highway, Townsville
  • 38 per cent on the Bruce Highway, Gin Gin
  • 14 per cent on the Bruce Highway, Mackay

“With less drivers on the road, police are reporting people taking increased risks like speeding. Initial crash reports are also showing that not wearing a seatbelt has been a cause of lives lost on our roads,” said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.

“With so much on people’s minds at the moment, I’m sure more drivers than usual are not concentrating on the road ahead as much as usual given the coronavirus crisis.

“While we are very focussed on saving lives from COVID-19, we also want to save as many lives on our roads as possible too. Eighty per cent of fatalities on our roads are due to risky choices – these are preventable.

“Queenslanders are doing a great job staying at home and travelling less, but it’s important to remember that when you do need to travel for an essential reason to give the road 100 per cent focus and drive safely to protect yourself and others.

“If you’re on a highway, keep an eye out for truckies carrying a lot of freight as well as first responders and our hardworking road crews.

“With less cars on the road, crews are getting stuck into upgrades, so make sure you drive to conditions and reduced speed zones.

Mr Bailey said regions like Mackay, the Wide Bay and Burnett, South West and South East in particular had seen more lives lost so far than in 2019.

“Remember, if you don’t need to travel for an essential reason, stay at home. That’s the safest thing you can do right now.”