Two South Kolan women lost their lives after a traffic crash on the Bundaberg Gin Gin Rd earlier this year.
Two South Kolan women lost their lives after a traffic crash on the Bundaberg Gin Gin Rd earlier this year. Mikayla Haupt

Data shows regional drivers face double the risk of death

DRIVERS in regional areas face double the risk of death on our roads.

Data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads shows more than 173 lives were lost on country Queensland roads during 2017, compared to 74 in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The most dangerous areas stretch from Mackay in the north down to the Sunshine Coast.

Statistics, revealed ahead of National Road Safety Week that starts on Monday, rarely deter drivers breaking the law.

During the past year across Australia there were 1227 people killed and another 35,000 seriously injured.

Drink drivers, speeding and inattention remains among the leading causes.

The data shows young drivers are not the ones to blame - the majority of those killed are more experienced road users aged between 25-59.

Yet constant calls for change continue to fall on deaf ears.

After more than two decades working in the field, Shine Lawyers' Brisbane West general manager Wendy Nixson sees first-hand the trauma of those injured or on families left behind.

"Until your inadvertence, or whatever it might be, has caused that injury and you are suddenly thrust into a litigation experience whereby you are being asked by lawyers to account for your actions it probably doesn't register seriously with people," she said.

"A very small action on your part can cause a traumatic experience for someone else."

Most drivers are covered by CTP insurance, but anyone who causes an accident then has to answer to the insurer and will see increases to their premiums and licence suspension.

"Maybe that's not enough. Maybe we need to think about how there might be more penalty to the individual driver who has caused injury so they do take it more seriously and they understand the ramifications of their actions - inadvertently or not," Ms Nixson said.

"We almost don't register we are still losing more than 200 people on our roads within this state. That is troubling. Potentially Queensland have become desensitised to reckless, dangerous or negligent driving.

"It never gets any easier to deal with human beings suffering injury or death...whose lives will never be the same again."

Road Safety Week will start ceremonies remembering those who died in 2017 on Monday, and the campaign take to the roads on Saturday where cyclists and motorcyclists will be encouraged to wear yellow to highlight the most vulnerable road users.


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