Bruce Hwy is no star in safety rating
MOST of the Bruce Hwy between Cooroy, Gympie and Childers has been given low safety ratings of one and two stars in a key national road report.
The RACQ said the Australian Road Assessment Program report assessed the safety performance of national highways across Australia on a star-rating scale, with five stars being the best and one star the worst.
RACQ executive manager public policy Michael Roth said most of the Cooroy-to-Gympie link and 79% of the Gympie-to-Childers link was rated one and two stars, well below the acceptable safety standard for a developed country.
"Gympie motorists' worst suspicions have been confirmed - the majority of the Bruce Hwy in their region has been given safety ratings below the minimum acceptable standard of three stars," Mr Roth said.
"Both the Cooroy-to-Gympie and Gympie-to-Childers links have several features that pose severe risks to motorists.
"They're undivided roads with high traffic volumes and have narrow sealed shoulders, frequent intersections and hazardous roadsides.
"Clearly, the recent completion of Section B of Cooroy to Curra and the ongoing work on Section A will have a positive impact on the safety of the highway.
"But there is a long way to go to bring it up to the required standard.
"The entire Bruce Hwy has a very poor crash history with an average of 43 people killed in road crashes every year since 2008.
"In the first half of this year there were 24 deaths on the Bruce, which means we're well on the way to reaching last year's toll of 53 deaths.
"As we ramp up our Demand Better Roads campaign in the lead-up to the federal election, we're calling on both sides of politics to commit $900 million for an AusRAP program of safety upgrades to the entire Bruce Hwy.
"This would form part of a $1.47 billion contribution we're seeking for upgrades across the state's entire national highway network."
Mr Roth said RACQ had welcomed the recent funding pledges for the Bruce by the Opposition and the Federal Government, but additional funding was required for AusRAP's dedicated program of safety upgrades.