MP vows to fix region's highway of hell
AS A FORMER police officer, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien knows all too well why the stretch of Bruce Hwy between Gympie and Maryborough has just been named one of Queensland's most dangerous roads.
Mr O'Brien said it was a "sobering reminder" of the need to increase the safety and capacity of the highway, after RACQ labelled the highway north of Gympie as one of the most treacherous for motorists.
The highway between the two towns has been the scene of more than six deaths so far this year.
The frequent highway fatalities has spurred Mr O'Brien to declare his plans to secure upgrade funding.
"The recent spate of fatal accidents between Gympie and Maryborough have shocked our community, devastated families and left a lasting impact on first responders and emergency service workers," he said.
Last month, he raised the issue of the highway in Federal parliament, calling on the government to help improve the road's safety.
"As I have always said, road safety is everyone's business," Mr O'Brien said.
The most recent fatal crash just north of Tiaro claimed the lives of former Bundaberg residents Sarah and Daniel Walker in April.
An $18.3 million safety package was announced that same month to upgrade four intersections and extend overtaking lanes north of Tiaro. $11.2 million from the 2017 Federal Budget was allocated to upgrade the intersection of the Bruce and Wide Bay Hwys at Bells Bridge.
A Chronicle report detailed more than half of road deaths between Gympie and Hervey Bay in the last 15 years were the result of head-on collisions.