By Andrea Fisher
The Queensland Government has released a two-year plan to achieve its goal of zero fatalities or serious injuries on the roads.
Tougher measures for drunk and distracted drivers, targeted education campaigns and preparation of state’s roads for new transport technologies are among a 50-point the Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2020-21 that will aim to bring the road death toll down.
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.
He said, “more than 17 people are killed or seriously injured Queensland roads every day.” However, the effects of these tragedies do not only stop with the victims.
According to Mr Bailey, “every one of these casualties has a ripple effect on individuals, families and communities across Queensland.”
“ This is why it is important to continue to invest in road safety and to have it be the government’s first priority in order to save lives and reduce suffering, ” he said.
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.
Under the new action plan, the Department of Transport and Main Roads will work with Queensland Police to trial these cameras. Mr Bailey said this technology offers the same opportunity to improve road safety as did the introduction of speed cameras in the 1990s where road causalities dropped significantly.
He said, “the action plan has a strong focus on improving our road infrastructure, particularly for pedestrians, bike riders and motorcyclists.”
The action plan also includes new education systems for road safety and drink drivers, cameras that will target people not wearing seatbelts and continued expansion of pedestrian protection. Mr Bailey said this initiative has been critical to seeing the road toll come down.
He said, “there is still plenty of work to do, and this action plan will guide us toward the areas that require our greatest focus. “Zero deaths on our roads may sound like an ambitious vision, but it’s the only acceptable vision we can aim for. ”
All 50 actions and further details of the new action plan can be accessed on the department’s website.