Plea for help to fix highway

Yet another truck crash on the Peak Downs Hwy, about 50km from Moranbah. Hundreds of people have been injured in crashes.
Yet another truck crash on the Peak Downs Hwy, about 50km from Moranbah. Hundreds of people have been injured in crashes. Contributed

THE Peak Downs Highway is one of the worst in the world and road safety campaigners want you to tell them what can be done to turn that around.

The Decade of Actions for Road Safety campaign, an international initiative supported by the United Nations, is teaming up with Mackay Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) to reduce the high number of road fatalities between Mackay and Clermont.

"Everybody who drives out there (on the Peak Downs Hwy) knows it can be an eventful trip," RAAG chairman Chris Bonanno said.

"We want them to tell us their stories and we want to hear their solutions as well."

Rob McInerney, chairman of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP), which is working with 70 countries as part of the initiative, was in Mackay yesterday to discuss the Peak Downs Hwy.

"Right now we can comfortably predict there will be a lot more death on that road unless we act now," Mr McInerney said.

"It is undivided, with high-speed traffic heading straight towards each other.

"It is as bad as the worst roads in the world.

"The traffic on the Peak Downs Hwy will more than double in the next few years."

In the five years to the end of 2009, 14 people lost their lives and 243 people were injured in crashes on the highway.

As a result of the crashes, 71 people were hospitalised.

"Road fatalities are preventable, they are not inevitable," Mr McInerney said.

"When there is a road fatality people need to think, 'what could have been done to prevent this?'"

RAAG will host a one-day workshop on May 18 to discuss the highway with experts and agencies.

In the meantime, RAAG wants to hear from you.

"We want people, it doesn't matter what level they are, to bring up the issues in their tool box meetings, or whenever they get together with their mates, about what needs to be done on the highway," Mr Bonanno said.

Organisers have invited major stock, fuel, freight and over-dimensional transport companies, the Coordinator General, Galilee and Bowen basins mining companies, road pilots, tourism bodies and regional councillors to the May workshop.

Tell RAAG what you think by visiting raag.com.au or emailing raagmackay@live. com.au.

Topics:  car crash, fatality, peak downs highway, raag, road safety



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