The Palaszczuk Government has today released its 10-year road safety strategy, outlining the approach to saving lives on Queensland Roads, which includes raising some fines.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2022-31 was aimed at reducing the number of lives lost on our roads.
“We’ve had a tragic start to the year, with 81 lives lost on Queensland roads already – that’s 81 people who are missing from dinner tables around the state,” Mr Bailey said.
“Today we are reaffirming our commitment to zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050 by cracking down on driver behaviour.
“The strategy’s action plan also delivers new penalties for speeding, running a red light and seatbelt offences starting 1 July 2022.
“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.
“In the first four months of our new seatbelt detection cameras going live, almost 14,000 seatbelt offences were recorded.
“We’ve been educating drivers on the importance of seatbelts for 50 years, but somehow the message didn’t get through to almost 14,000 people, so it’s time to get tough.
“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.”
Mr Bailey said every cent collected from the fines will be re-invested into road safety.
“This year alone, we have over $1.7 billion invested in road safety initiatives to prioritise road safety upgrades, improve driver education, make school zones safer and develop policies to reduce road crashes and trauma,” he said.
“In 2021 almost a quarter of lives lost on the road involved motorcyclists which is something we don’t want to see repeated this year.
“Our Ride to Zero campaign will be rolled out in collaboration with motorcycle groups and organisations that actively contribute to the development and implementation of community-led rider safety.
“Regional communities disproportionately shoulder the burden of lives lost, with over half of all road fatalities occurring on rural roads, which is why we will develop resources specifically targeting regional and rural road safety.”
Mr Bailey said the penalty for not wearing a seatbelt or not wearing it properly would now align with the mobile phone penalty.
“Speeding, red-light and seatbelt offending are major contributors to a high level of road trauma,” he said.
“Speeding penalties will be increased to send a clear message that speeding, regardless of the level, is dangerous and will not be tolerated.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government remained committed to continued investment in foundational road safety measures, including infrastructure improvements and treatments, deterrents and enforcement.
“The Queensland road network and the communities it connects are vast and diverse, which is why we need to do more to get the road safety message across,” he said.
“That’s why the strategy has a strong community focus, championing grassroots initiatives.”
Mr Bailey said the strategy would be delivered in three phases across 10 years, with each phase supported by an action plan. The first of these is the Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2022-24.
“This action plan is focused on initiating change, with 20 practical actions to improve road safety outcomes and set the foundations for future initiatives,” he said.
The new strategy and action plan can be accessed via: https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Road-safety/Road-safety-strategy-and-action-plans/Strategy-and-action-plans.