Investigation reveals every Bundaberg blackspot
EIGHT people have been killed in 15 years on one of the Bundaberg region's deadliest crash blackspots - but the Queensland Government hopes the $4.5 million upgrade to the Bruce Hwy and Childers Rd near Apple Tree Creek will save lives.
An analysis of 15 years of government crash data has revealed eight people were killed on a 3km stretch at Apple Tree Creek including three deadly crashes between 2001 and 2016 where those two roads intersect.
The tragic history of our region's deadliest highway is revealed as police plead with motorists to take care on Queensland roads over the Easter break.
QLD Road Fatalities 2001-2016
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Smashes included a 2011 horror crash where two children were killed when a four-wheel drive came off the Bruce Hwy and hit a tree. A one-year-old child and one-month-old baby were killed and two other children airlifted to Brisbane with serious injuries.
Just metres to the north, three people were killed in three separate crashes on the highway in Apple Tree Creek in 2012 alone.
A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said the recently completed $4.5 million road upgrade on the highway at Apple Tree Creek could save lives.
"We finished upgrading the Bruce Hwy at Apple Tree Creek in 2016. Work included widening the Bruce Hwy and upgrading various intersections through Apple Tree Creek to improve safety," she said.
"We are also planning to start upgrading the Bruce Hwy north of the Isis Hwy intersection later this year. Road safety will be improved by widening the highway to include a one metre wide centre line treatment and upgrading the Hebbards Rd and North South Rd/Kevin Livingston Rd intersections," she said.
Crash records also show major inter-city highways are some of deadliest roads in Queensland.
Nearly one third of Bundaberg road deaths between 2001 and 2016 occurred on either the Bruce or Isis Hwys.
The TMR spokeswoman said major roads like the Bruce Hwy could soon be home to new point-to-point speed cameras.
She said two point-to-point systems would be installed every year on Queensland roads over the next three years. But their locations have not been determined.
Point-to-point cameras measure a vehicle's average speed between two points on a road.
"New sites are selected based on crash data. Both TMR and Queensland Police prioritise continuous lengths of roads that exhibit a significant history of speed camera criteria crashes in the preceding five years," she said.
"This assessment process determines the potential locations of new point-to-point camera sites."
So far, the cameras are only installed at the Sunshine Coast on the Bruce Hwy and on the Mount Lindesay Hwy in Logan.
A leading road safety expert believes installing point-to-point speed cameras along regional highways could save lives.
The George Institute for Public Health injury division head Rebecca Ivers said the speed cameras and better quality roads were key to reducing Queensland's road toll.
"Simple road engineering can help improve safety on curves, but as police cannot enforce speed limits across our vast road network, utilisation of other speed management systems like point-to-point cameras would help significantly to manage safety," she said.
She said council and state government road planning needed to consider all road users - not just cars.
"Road safety is not just about cars and drivers, and government has an important job in making sure all road users can travel safely," she said.
OUR DEADLIEST ROADS
- Bruce Hwy 34 deaths
- Goodwood Rd 17 deaths
- Isis Hwy 16 deaths
- Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd 13 deaths
- Bundaberg-Bargara Rd 6 deaths
* Road deaths 2001-2016
- ARM NEWSDESK