Road safety reminder for our red dirt roads

Published on 11 September 2023

Councillor Ellen Smith.jpg

Rockhampton Regional Council is proud to support Australian Rural Road Safety Month, a vital initiative driven by The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF).

This nationwide campaign, running from 1 to 30 September, aims to raise awareness about the unique challenges of rural road safety and encourages safer driving behaviours, particularly in regions like Rockhampton.

Infrastructure Councillor Ellen Smith said the Rockhampton Region boasts stunning landscapes and a network of rural roads that play a crucial role in connecting our residents.

“Connectedness is key in communities like Rockhampton, and rural roads can sometimes present distinct challenges,” Cr Smith said.

“With over 1076 km of unsealed of rural roads in our region, factors such as varying road conditions, wildlife, and limited visibility can impact drivers. These roads demand our collective attention for the safety of our community.

“During Australian Rural Road Safety Month, we are encouraging road users to not get complacent of the risks when driving on rural and remote roads across Australia.”

Rural road crashes account for more than 65% of the Australian road toll, and the rate of serious road-related injury in rural areas is nearly twice that of those in major cities.

Motorists are urged to slow down, drive to the conditions and reduce speed limit to stay in control.

“Always pay attention. You never know what’s around the corner – even if you’ve driven it a million times. Stay alert, slow down and give yourself enough time to react,” Cr Smith said.

“Be aware of your surroundings, other vehicles and the road signs. Heavy vehicles can take longer to stop and keeping your distance can be the difference between getting to your location safely or not getting there at all.  

“Take extra care on our rural roads and keep road safety at the front of your mind not only this September but every time you head out on our rural roads.”

Statistics from Australian Road Safety Foundation

  1. High risk rural roads are used by almost all Australians (91%) at least once a year
  2. More than a third of drivers utilise regional roads at least once a week
  3. Personal travel is the number one reason (60%) for driving on regional roads
  4. Living in the area accounts only for 27% of reasons for driving on regional roads