A Queensland MP has called for speed limits on sections of the Bruce Highway to be raised to 120km/h so motorists don’t become frustrated by slow-moving grey nomads.
Nick Dametto, who is also deputy leader of Katter’s Australian Party, told the Townsville Bulletin that he regularly travels a notorious stretch of the A1 between Ingham and Townsville and sees dangerous driving because people cannot safely overtake more regularly.
“Frustrations can become particularly high this time of year when North Queensland is in peak tourism season and caravans and camper trailers line both sides of the highway,” he told the newspaper. “We love our tourists but the exasperation of coming across a long line of grey nomads is something that most people can relate to.”
He says motorists are being slowed down and that 120km/h overtaking lanes could be the answer.
Mr Dametto said modern vehicles had the requisite safety features to travel faster than 100km/h without danger, and that raising speed limits would reduce the frequency of risky overtaking manoeuvres.
Vehicles that sat on 85km/h ‘just seemed’ to speed up to 100km/h as you went to overtake them, Mr Dametto told the Bulletin.
“We’re not saying let’s do 120km/h up and down the Bruce Highway, that would be ludicrous.”
The Bulletin reports that Mr Dametto’s idea for 120km/h overtaking lanes would be only on long straight sections with wide centre lanes to get as many cars past a slow-moving vehicle as possible.
However, Queensland’s transport and main roads minister, Mark Bailey, wasted no time in rejecting the proposal.
“No, I won’t be considering overtaking lanes at 120km/h,” he told the Townsville Bulletin. “This would increase the number of crashes, they would be more severe, ultimately resulting in more deaths and lifelong injuries … if you’re in a hurry, plan better and leave yourself plenty of time.”
The 1,679-kilometre Bruce Highway has a 100km/h limit except for large 110km/h sections between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
According to the Bulletin, comprehensive data for 2022 is not readily available. However, it says that in 2021 there were 21 fatal crashes on the Bruce Highway, of which the majority were disproportionately north of Noosa.
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