Road death toll doubled in 2009
IT was a shocking year on the Rockhampton district’s roads in 2009 with more than double the fatalities of 2008.
There were 21 deaths – 12 more lives lost than the previous year.
There were 397 injury-related crashes in the city last year, lining up with the count for the year before.
Across the Central region there were 55 fatalities, up 22 on 2008.
Central Region’s Chief Superintendent, Steve Gollschewski,said for 2009, speed, fatigue and alcohol were the top killers.
An alarming number of foreigners have died on Central Queensland roads this year including the horrific crash which claimed the lives of five tourists, three who were Italians and two Canadians, near Saint Lawrence in February.
Superintendent Gollschewski said more than 96% of the fatalities across the region were behaviour-related.
“Drivers make the choice to speed, drink drive or to not wear a seat belt. It always comes back to road-users,” he said.
He said there was a spike in pedestrian fatalities and elderly people killed on the roads.
When it comes to drink drivers, on an average weekend police caught between 40 and 50 motorists breaking the law.
“And that’s just the ones we caught,” Superintendent Gollschewski said.
In a bid to save lives in 2010, $4 million will be spent on an upgrade of the Waverley Creek rest stop near St Lawrence on a notorious stretch on the Bruce Highway between Sarina and Rockhampton.
He said too many people had taken dangerous risks on the roads not only putting their lives in jeopardy, but other motorists alike.
Superintendent Gollschewski said only a couple of days ago a driver travelling at least 150kmh overtook eight vehicles in one go through double lines on the stretch of road south of Rockhampton between Raglan and Mt Larcom.
“People continue to do silly things on the roads which is destroying lives. The message isn’t getting through.”
He said we had a bad start to the year with a number of multiple fatalities.
“Later in the year we went nearly two months without a fatality around October November.”