Danger on the Bruce Highway

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Bruce Highway
Will we see six lanes before we see four to Cairns?

A series of recent horrific crashes on Queensland’s Bruce Highway has once again brought the shocking state of the road into the spotlight.
An international specialist in road engineering has just reviewed the highway and concluded what many grey nomads and other travellers already knew … the road needs major and urgent improvements.

The head of the International Road Assessment Programme, Rob McInerney, said the major issue was that high-speed Bruce Highway traffic was separated by little more than a thin white line.

“If you’re about to head down onto a one-star road you are at high speed about 100 kilometres an hour, you’re driving towards another car or a truck with just that little bit of white line separating you and them,” he said. “You’re only really 300mm away from a head-on crash that could kill you … most of the Bruce Highway is undivided and that’s a big problem.”

The International Road Assessment Program recently determined the highway was one of the most dangerous in the country. The notorious stretch of road is worst near Mackay.

Mr McInerney said most of the crashes on the Bruce were head-on incidents, or run off the road types where they hit something. But, he said, there was an engineering solution to “just about every fatal and serious injury crash on our roads”.

“The Bruce Highway, and roads around Mackay that people are driving on, are one or two-star roads,” he said. “What we do know from all of the research we’ve done is that if you can go from one star to two star you will half the death rate and if you go from two star to three star you will half it again.”

Sergeant Matthew Gerry of Mackay Traffic Branch said fatigue was a common denominator in recent crashes.
“They might think it won’t happen to me,” he said. “But road crashes can, and do, happen to anyone.”

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