The Bruce Highway.
The Bruce Highway. Renee Pilcher

The Bruce: deadliest in Australia

IT'S official - the Bruce Highway is the worst in Australia.

Figures released in the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) report yesterday show the highway has the highest number of crashes, highest number of fatalities and accounts for one in six deaths on federally-funded roads.

This comes days after three accidents on the Bruce Hwy near Mt Larcom in one day, including a fatality.

The stretch from Miriam Vale to Rockhampton was one of the top 15 worst sections of national highway in Queensland for the period 2005-2009, with 15 fatalities.

While Rockhampton to St Lawrence didn't make the top 15, there were 17 fatalities recorded for that period on that section.

There were 28 fatalities on the Gympie to Childers section with only one other stretch of national highway in Australia having that high a fatality figure - the Darwin to Pine Creek stretch on the Stuart Hwy in the Northern Territory.

RACQ public policy executive manager Michael Roth said an alarming 37% of Queensland's national highways were found to have a high risk rating.

"The AusRAP analysis found that the Bruce Highway experienced the highest level of road trauma on Queensland's national network, accounting for 50% of casualty crashes and 61% of deaths," he said.

Mr Roth said the improvements already announced would not be enough, with $100 million a year more needed to be spent solely on safety measures across the Queensland roads network.

The Liberal National Party's infrastructure spokesman Jeff Seeney said the report gave Queensland an alarmingly bad report for high-risk highways.

"This is an independent report, and coming on top of a series of bad smashes south of Rockhampton this week, surely confirms just how bad our main highway has become," he said.

Mr Seeney pointed the finger at the State Labor Government, while Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace pointed the finger at the former Federal Howard Government, saying funding had increased four-fold since Labor came into power, federally.

National highways are funded by the Federal Government, with every state fighting for a share.


Bruce facts

Between 2005-2009, there were 2869 casualty crashes and 204 deaths on the Bruce Highway;

28 of those fatalities occurred on the Gympie to Childers section.

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