Hor­ror stats re­veal our roads dead­li­est in state

Western Times - - NEWS -

DRIVERS in re­gional Queens­land are twice as likely to be in­volved in a fa­tal mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent as those who live in the state’s metropoli­tan ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to data from the De­part­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads.

That same data con­firms that the Su­rat Basin, in­clud­ing towns such as St Ge­orge, Charleville and Roma, is part of Queens­land’s sec­ond dead­li­est re­gion for mo­torists. The most dan­ger­ous area stretches from Mackay in the north to the Sun­shine Coast.

In 2017 173 peo­ple died on coun­try Queens­land roads while 74 peo­ple died in traf­fic in­ci­dents in Bris­bane and the Gold Coast.

Dur­ing that same pe­riod 1227 peo­ple died on Aus­tralian roads and an­other 35,000 were se­ri­ously in­jured with drink driv­ing, speed­ing and inat­ten­tion among the lead­ing causes of ac­ci­dents.

Ron Ward, from Ward’s Trans­port in Roma, said the roads in re­gional Queens­land were partly to blame for the high road toll with his em­ploy­ees deal­ing with un­safe driv­ing con­di­tions ev­ery day.

“You try and pull a road train across some of the cur­rent roads at 90km/h, you just can’t do it,” he said.

“We should be able to drive from Roma to Toowoomba in four hours, but in­stead, it’s tak­ing us five.”

“I know they’re do­ing a lot of road works but it’s just not good enough or quick enough and they’re fix­ing one piece of road and then they’re back fix­ing it again in a few months time.

“If you visit the east­ern area of the state, that’s where all the money is be­ing spent on the roads but out in the west where we tow two or three trail­ers, the roads are pa­thetic.

“The qual­ity of roads is mak­ing it un­safe for ev­ery­one.”

Af­ter more than two decades work­ing in the field, Shine Lawyers’ Bris­bane West gen­eral man­ager Wendy Nix­son has seen first-hand the im­pact of traf­fic ac­ci­dents on those in­jured or on fam­i­lies left be­hind.

“We al­most don’t regis­ter we are still los­ing more than 200 peo­ple on our roads within this state each year,” she said.

“It never gets any eas­ier to deal with hu­man be­ings suf­fer­ing in­jury or death, whose lives will never be the same again.”

“A very small ac­tion on your part can cause a trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence for some­one else.”

PHOTO: FILE

SHOCK STA­TIS­TICS: The Su­rat Basin is part of the state’s sec­ond-dead­li­est re­gion for mo­torists.

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