High­ways on the agenda

Our prob­lem roads should be state elec­tion pri­or­i­ties

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

RACQ is lead­ing calls to all po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the lead-up to the 2017 Queens­land elec­tion to com­mit to up­grad­ing roads in the Wide Bay and Bur­nett to save lives and fu­ture-proof the re­gion.

The state’s peak motor­ing body named the Bur­nett High­way and D’Aguilar High­way safety up­grades among the pri­or­ity projects needed in the re­gion.

RACQ head of pub­lic pol­icy Re­becca Michael said it was time safety was put at the top of the po­lit­i­cal agenda.

“Not only have we al­ready lost 66 lives on Wide Bay/ Bur­nett and north coast roads this year, hun­dreds of peo­ple have been se­ri­ously in­jured,” Dr Michael said.

“This is why we must see all par­ties com­mit to in­vest­ing in safety up­grades.”

Im­prove­ments needed in­clude road widen­ing and wide cen­tre­line treat­ments, the in­stal­la­tion of safety bar­ri­ers and rum­ble strips, along with ad­di­tional over­tak­ing lanes and re­moval of road­side haz­ards.

“These en­hance­ments to the Bur­nett High­way will im­prove the safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity of what is al­ready used as an in­land al­ter­na­tive route,” Dr Michael said.

“Our po­lit­i­cal par­ties need to prove they’re plan­ning for the fu­ture – Queens­land can only thrive if the right in­vest­ment is put into road and trans­port in­fra­struc­ture.”

The Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice’s an­nual sta­tis­ti­cal re­view for 2016-17 showed the Bur­nett High­way had a range of other safety is­sues.

The rate of un­law­ful use of mo­tor ve­hi­cles in­creased by 26.1 per cent, but the num­ber of traf­fic and re­lated of­fences across the district de­creased by 17 per cent.

Wide Bay Bur­nett District Of­fi­cer Su­per­in­ten­dent Craig Hawkins said there were pos­i­tives from the re­view but still some wor­ry­ing trends.

“It is pos­i­tive to see of­fences on our roads de­cline,” Supt Hawkins said.

“How­ever, 2182 in the past year is still too high and po­lice will con­tinue to fo­cus on traf­fic of­fend­ers to en­sure the roads are safe.”

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