A new strategy to address the complex factors contributing to deaths on Queensland roads over the next decade has been unveiled by the state government.
The strategy aims to halve the number of fatalities (to fewer than 124) and reduce the number of serious injuries by 30% (to fewer than 4,856) within 10 years.
In a statement, transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said the strategy’s goal is to totally eliminate road deaths by 2050.
“The strategy’s action plan delivers new penalties for speeding, running a red light and seatbelt offences, starting 1 July 2022,” Bailey said.
“Running a red light will now set you back more than $550 and drivers will continue to receive three demerit points for this offence.
“Penalties for seatbelt offences will also see a significant increase, to more than $1000, as well as increasing the demerit point penalty from three to four,” he said.
The minister said since new seatbelt cameras had been installed, 14,000 offences had been captured in the first four months. The money collected from these fines would be reinvested into the state’s road safety initiatives, he said.
The increased fines for failure to wear a seatbelt properly or at all will now bring the offence into line with penalties in Queensland for driving while using a mobile.
“We make no apologies for being tough on this reckless and dangerous behaviour, just like we did for mobile phone offences.
“The message is simple, if you don’t want one of these fines, do the right thing on our roads,” Bailey said.
Last year the government committed $1.7 billion for road safety upgrades, driver education, making school zones safer and policies to reduce road crashes and trauma.
Other issues the government was considering in closer detail was the high number of fatal incidents involving motorbike accidents, how to reduce speeding and red-light compliance, and the higher death rates on regional roads.
Bailey said the strategy committed the government to investing more in infrastructure improvements and treatments, deterrents and enforcement.
“The strategy has a strong community focus, championing grassroots initiatives,” he said.
The Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2022-2031 is complemented by a two-year action plan, which can be found on the Department of Transport and Main Roads website. Two additional phases of the strategy will be supported by their own action plans in the future.
“This action plan is focused on initiating change, with 20 practical actions to improve road safety outcomes and set the foundations for future initiatives,” Bailey added.