Evidence markers on road at the crime scene in Robina killing. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News TWE170511crime
Evidence markers on road at the crime scene in Robina killing. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News TWE170511crime John Gass

CQ most dangerous in state

MOTORISTS are more likely to die on the regional road network in Central Queensland than anywhere else in the state.

The chilling statistic - uncovered in figures released by the Main Roads Minister - rang true on the weekend when a motorcyclist was killed on the Bruce Highway south of Mackay - only two days into the busy school holiday period.

The carnage, mixed with a 45% rise in road fatalities in the region, has prompted an impassioned plea from Main Roads and Transport Minister Scott Emerson as road traffic multiplies with the school holidays.

In 2011, 54 people died in 43 crashes throughout Central Queensland - a worrying increase of 45.9% on 2010.

The resource-rich area is bucking the state trend with fatalities across Queensland last year 16.1% lower than the five-year average.

Deaths in the region make up 20.1% of Queensland's road toll, making Central Queensland the highest road fatality contributor in the state.

The second biggest contributor to fatal crashes, behind illegal manoeuvres, was alcohol and drugs.

But in an area teeming with mining developments and subsequent employees, many of whom drive from towns like Mackay and to work in the Bowen Basin, fatigue and speed are the fastest growing crash contributors.

Last year, speed-related crashes increased by 60% on 2010 and tired drivers caused 20% more crashes over the same period.

The problematic resources roads in the region often play host to many serious crashes, including the Peak Downs Highway where 17 people have died in the past five years.

Mr Emerson said he was aware of the damage additional heavy traffic had on resources roads.

"The LNP's Roads to Resources policy ... will provide an additional $285 million over four years, and an extra $100 million a year after that, to upgrade regional and mining community roads," he said.

Mr Emerson said the road toll should be a wake-up call to drivers.

"For the sake of your loved ones and families across Queensland, please help us curb the carnage on our roads: Pay attention, watch your speed, take regular breaks and turn off your mobile phone," he said.



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