Is it time to demand safer highways?
AN AVERAGE of 43 people have been killed on the Bruce Hwy every year since 2008.
And as Mackay region residents still grapple with the most recent horrifying fatalities, it's no surprise they're being encouraged to demand safer roads.
The RACQ is urging Mackay motorists to take the fight to their candidates in the countdown to the federal election on September 7.
RACQ executive manager public policy Michael Roth said the region's worst suspicions were confirmed last month with the release of the latest Australian Road Assessment Program report.
"The report gave the majority of the Bruce Hwy in the Mackay area safety ratings below the minimum acceptable standard of three stars; 90% of the Sarina-Mackay link and 40% of the Mackay-Proserpine link were rated one and two stars, well below the acceptable safety standard for a developed country," he said.
As part of the Demand Better Roads campaign, RACQ is calling on both sides of politics to commit $900m for an AusRAP program of safety upgrades to the entire Bruce Hwy.
"It costs a lot of money to fix roads. So far they've been focused more on blaming the driver and trying to encourage compliance," he said.
"People will always make mistakes but if we're not building a safer road system we know we're going to get deaths and serious injuries."
The RACQ has identified less expensive ways to improve road safety and hopes election candidates will take notice.
"Things like wider seals on the road side, or barriers in front of trees, or removing trees, turning lanes at intersections and wider gaps between the lanes to reduce the number of head on crashes," Mr Roth said.