Driver survives t-bone with bull

POLICE said the driver of a smashed-up car should buy himself a lotto ticket after a lucky escape when he ploughed into a bull on the Capricorn Highway near Dingo.

The accident, which occurred on Wednesday, is among the latest crashes on the highway between Rockhampton and Emerald.

Figures released to The Morning Bulletin this week showed there had been 321 injury or fatal crashes between 1999 and last year on the increasingly busy stretch. And with significant mining projects in the pipeline, including what is proposed for Alpha, police are urging road users to play it safe.

Duaringa police Senior Constable Rob Harris said the driver of the Magna station wagon didn't see a dark bull crossing the road at night. Amazingly, the 43-year-old man walked away without serious injury.

Central region police traffic Inspector Mike Curtin said the stretch west of Rockhampton was a priority.

He said fatigue was a major contributing factor to fatalities of drivers involved in the mining industries.

“We endeavour to work with the local community and mining bodies to address fatigue-related incidents.”

Police have set up traffic officers at Westwood, Duaringa and Blackwater.

According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, of the 321 recorded crashes, 21 were fatal and 300 resulted in injury.

The biggest year for accidents on this stretch was 44 in 2006. Last year was a 10-year low with 18 crashes.

Capricorn Highway Traffic Stats
Main Roads traffic data on the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Emerald (2001-2008):
  • Traffic volume on this stretch has increased by 60% from 1646 vehicles in 2001 to 2803 in 2008;  Between 2001 and 2008, there has been an 8% traffic volume increase annually;
  • The volume of traffic travelling between Rockhampton and Gracemere daily has increased by about 5.1% annually from 10,086 vehicles in 2001 to 14,516 at the end of 2008;
  • The Capricorn Highway is recognised as one of the major western transport arteries in Central Queensland. The traffic volumes were recorded at 41 Mile Creek, between Westwood and Gogango.

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