Renewed calls for four lanes after spate of serious crashes
Outspoken Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien has taken to social media to call for an urgent plan to upgrade the Bruce Highway to four lanes after a spate of serious crashes during the festive season.
"Yesterday on the Bruce Highway there were five serious crashes causing injuries and congestion between Curra and Maryborough," Mr O'Brien wrote in the Facebook post on New Year's Eve.
"At Curra, Bells Bridge, Glenwood, Kanigan and Tiaro.
"The State Government must bring forward a four lane plan to upgrade the Bruce Highway from Curra to Maryborough, engineered to the same safe standard that we see on the section from Cooroy to Woondum, and that we will see extend from Woondum to Curra once Section D has been completed.
"This needs to start right now with a four lane Tiaro bypass.
"Anything less comes at high cost to every road user. Lives depend on it."
Mr O'Brien has been consistent in his calls for a four-lane Highway since he was elected.
The former police officer had witnessed years of carnage on the roads in his previous profession and had vowed to work to reduce the road toll when he became the member for Wide Bay.
The Tiaro bypass has been the subject of dispute for months, with a two lane bypass currently planned by the State Government with financial backing from Mr O'Brien's own party.
But Mr O'Brien has stood firm in his determination to see a four lane highway go ahead sooner rather than later.
Twenty-twenty was a shocking year on Queensland's roads, despite the state going into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year 276 people died on Queensland roads compared to 217 in 2019.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Ray Rohweder said people not using seatbelts, speeding, driving under the influence or using mobile phones, and driving at speed on regional roads were key contributors to the annual death toll.
He singled out the Wide Bay-Burnett as one of the areas of concern when it came to the road toll.
The regional roads are the most disturbing, to be honest … in the Central region, Mackay, Wide Bay-Burnett, they had distinct increases in the road toll," he said.
"A significant number of those, too, are speed-related and not wearing a seatbelt, so that's very concerning.
"We've certainly put a lot of resources into those areas, enforcement resources, to try and bring those totals down, and we'll continue to do so."