Highway to hell
761 crashes on Bruce Hwy 455 crashes on Isis Hwy Our region’s dangerous roads
THE Bruce is Bundaberg’s highway to hell.
With 761 crashes over 13 years, the major arterial is the region’s number one crash zone.
An analysis of Queensland Government crash data collected from 2001 to 2013 showed there were 5710 crashes in the Bundaberg Regional Council area.
The next four most dangerous roads are the Isis Hwy with 455 crashes, Bundaberg-Bargara Rd with 390, Bundaberg-Port Rd on 313 and Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd with 286 smashes.
Road conditions play a major part in the severity of crashes and authorities are committing millions of dollars to fix any problems.
The Queensland Government will spend $7,311,599 across the Main Roads’ Wide Bay-Burnett region – which includes Bundaberg, the Fraser Coast and Gympie – under the Safer Roads Sooner program over three years.
Bundaberg Regional Council spends at least $25 million a year maintaining the area’s roads.
Cr Tony Ricciardi said the Federal Government’s 2015-16 financial year Black Spot program would target areas of high concern, although none was in the region’s five most dangerous roads.
The funding targets are the intersections at Burnett and Targo Sts, Hummock and Windermere Rds, Hummock and Elliott Heads Rds, and Mittelheusers and Burnett Heads Rds.
“The Black Spot road funding initiative is one means by which the council is currently identifying and addressing traffic trouble spots or high crash zones within our region,” Cr Ricciardi said.
RACQ senior road safety advisor Joel Tucker said the Bruce Hwy’s crash record was “bad” and improving the key thoroughfare could mean the difference between life and death for some crash victims.
“A large proportion of deaths have occurred on the Bruce Hwy over the years because it is a very busy road and because it’s a national highway,” Mr Tucker said. “
There are still sections that are only one lane each way and some are undivided and curvy in parts as well.
“Driver behaviour is up to the individual and road authorities do not have direct control of this.
“All the motoring clubs are saying ‘Get your roads in order’. If you build a good road today, it will be there tomorrow and it’s going to be there 20 or 30 years before it needs too much work.”
A spokesperson for the state’s Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said $350m would be spent on safety improvements along major arterials by 2020.
“The Queensland Government remains committed to working with the Federal Government in delivering $350 million in jointly-funded safety improvements on the Bruce Hwy, between Brisbane and Cairns and $40 million on the Warrego Hwy, between Toowoomba and Miles, over the next five years,” the spokesperson said.
DANGEROUS SECTION: A single-vehicle accident near the Mines Rd turnoff on the Isis Highway at Biggenden earlier this year.