The Bruce Highway: One of Australia’s Most Dangerous Roads
Queensland’s notorious Bruce Highway has recently been given the dishonour of being considered one of the most dangerous roads in Australia.
A report by the National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) recently revealed that truck crashes have been decreasing in NSW, but have seen a notable surge in Queensland. As the number of trucks on Queensland roads increased throughout 2011 and continue to do so, – believed to be tied to growing demands in the mining industry – the Bruce Highway has been noted as a large culprit to these crashes.
At the core of the Bruce Highway’s problems is that the major road is struggling to keep up with the large number of heavy vehicles that frequently use the road, despite continuing road-works being undertaken on the Highway itself. Chief among criticisms is that the Bruce Highway lacks in terms of its number of overtaking lanes and rest areas.
Director of research at NTARC, Owen Driscoll, stated that the Bruce Highway is now easily one of the most dangerous roads currently in Australia. When comparing it all of the country’s other highways, Driscoll said that the Bruce Highway “runs a very poor last.”
Driscoll’s claims that the Bruce Highway is one of the most dangerous roads in Australia can be backed up by other recent findings by the Australian Automobile Association, which found that 17% of all nation road deaths occur on it. Driscoll also pointed out that, when compared to other Australian highways such as the Pacific or Hume, the Bruce Highway only handles around 20% of the traffic they do.
Despite this, Queensland’s (in)famous highway has the greatest proportion of major truck accidents in all of Australia.
Along with its inefficient structure, locals have also blamed the fact that the Bruce Highway is in an abhorrently poor condition. Liz Schmidt, secretary of the Livestock and Rural Transport Association mentioned that due to the highway being neglected for so long, it simply is “not an all-weather highway.”
Of course, not all of them blame rests with the Bruce Highway for Queensland’s surge in truck driver accidents. The NTARC report also noted driver fatigue among truck drivers to be another major factor. But when driver fatigue is then mixed with one of the most dangerous roads in the country, it can spell some serious disaster.
At this point in time, it’s certainly undeniable that the Bruce Highway needs some serious repair work. For a number of years commuters have struggled raised concern over the state of this Queensland means of transit.
What do you think of the current state of Queensland’s Bruce Highway? Share your thoughts and frustrations in the comments below.