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Creating a safe and resilient network

We monitor transport safety data to keep our transport network safer, reducing the number of fatalities or serious injuries on our network.

Road safety data

In 2017–18 there were 247 road fatalities in Queensland, 4 fewer than the previous year and the previous 5 year average. The average road fatality rate in 2017–2018 was 4.97 per 100,000 population, which is 3.2% lower than last year’s figure.


Road fatalities per 100,000 population

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Road fatalities by road user type (in Queensland)

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In 2017 there were 6,481 people hospitalised from road crashes in Queensland. This is 2.7% higher than last year but 0.6% less than the previous 5 year average.

Road crash incident data

About 2/3 of road trauma victims don’t get recorded in road safety statistics—this is especially true for motorcyclists, cyclists, males, young people, and people injured in remote and inner regional areas.

We have begun working with Queensland Health to share data that will give us a more accurate view of road crashes involving vulnerable road users resulting in serious injury.

This work will give us a more holistic understanding of crash characteristics and casualty outcomes, which will help us to develop targeted road safety initiatives and effective evaluations.

Improving maritime safety

Marine safety data

In 2017–2018 there were 9 reported fatalities from marine incidents, which is about 3.45 fatalities per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This is close to the 10 year average of 3.4 fatalities over the same measure. There were 29 injuries that resulted in hospital admissions. This is 11.12 admissions per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, compared to a 10 year average of 10.9.

Maritime Minutes

In 2017–18 we created short videos called Maritime Minutes to help the boating public understand legislation and help them to be safe on the water.

One of the videos, called Do you know your Colregs? explains the international rules for avoiding collisions at sea. The video posted on Facebook was used by recreational boat licence training organisations, marine rescue groups, and other interested in boating safety.

Removing derelict vessels

In 2017 we worked to remove 3 vessels damaged by extreme weather conditions from the Whitsunday Islands and Airlie Beach. All 3 (the Whitsunday Magic, Tateyama Maru and pollutants from the MV Banks) were removed with no safety or environmental incidents.

Tateyama Maru aground in Gloucester Island, Whitsundays
Tateyama Maru aground in Gloucester Island, Whitsundays

Rail safety

On 1 July 2017 Queensland joined a program to unify policy and regulation for rail safety. This involved handing over responsibility for rail safety regulation to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and the no-blame investigation of railway incidents to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

TMR still provides rail safety-related policy advice to the Queensland Government and maintains oversight of Queensland regulation relating to the safe transport of dangerous goods by rail.

As a result the of changes, the Office of the Rail Safety Regulator is now the rail safety regulator in Queensland. Rail safety information will now be published on their website and we will no longer report on it.

Secure transport network

We have a dedicated transport security program which supports the development of counter-terrorism and security plans across the transport network. TMR provided comprehensive support to planning and delivering operational security for GC2018.

We performed an exercise scenario developed in response to our experience with Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. This allowed us to identify a need to improve our internal communication and procedures, data collection and fatigue management.

Our road commitments

Safer road users

The Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2017–19 was released in 2017 with 29 initiatives to be implemented over a 2 year period. The plan’s initiatives are to:

  • deliver safer roads for Queenslanders
  • get people into safer vehicles
  • encourage safer road use
  • plan our future and strengthen our partnerships.

In February 2018 we held our fifth Safer Roads, Safer Queensland Forum. The topic was vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and driver distraction.

We also rolled out a number of road safety education programs in 2017–18, including:

  • Plan B – drink driving campaign
  • Let’s change the way we look at speed
  • Chin up – driver distractions campaign
  • Sixth sense – motorcycle safety campaign
  • Drink walking – pedestrian safety campaign
  • Safe cars app

In 2017–2018 we held the following events and sponsorships:

  • partnership with Queensland Cricket including Plan B promotion at Big Bash Games
  • sponsored Fatality Free Friday
  • supported Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week 
  • held Queensland Road Safety Week
  • held the third Co-Lab event with young Queenslanders

Brisbane Heat cricketers Ben Cutting and Joe Burns with General Manager (Land Transport Safety), Dennis Walsh and Deputy Director-General (Customer Services, Safety and Regulation), Mike Stapleton, renewing TMR’s partnership with Queensland Cricket. 

Safer vehicles

Transport inspectors keep our roads safer by performing roadside compliance checks on vehicles. We worked with Telstra and development partner Gridstone to develop a new Queensland Compliance Information System which will help these checks to be more efficient.

This application gives transport inspectors real-time access to registration and licensing information, allows them to record details of inspections, take photos and issue fines. 

Our commitment to safer speeds

We engage with community groups and members of the public to reinforce the message of speed playing a major role in road crashes. Work that we are doing on this includes:

  • partnering with RACQ to deliver the Safe DriVR speed safety virtual reality app to young drivers through the Docudrama program
  • collaborating with TMR’s regional offices to develop speed and road safety resources tailored to local issues
  • including speed and road safety messages with licence renewal notices.

Reducing speed limits

Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, accounted for over 17% of the road toll in 2017. To address this we started a project in March 2018 to reduce speed limits in areas with high pedestrian and cyclist activity. We are prioritising areas based on crash history and where vehicle travelling speeds support a lower speed limit. We will work with local decision makers to explain these changes and how they will make our roads safer.

Safety at schools

We have installed flashing school at another 100 school zones this year, bringing the total up to 844 school zones that have been installed since 2012.

Due to the success of this program we will install flashing school zone signs at another 300 school zones between now and 2021. Sites are selected using multiple criteria including a risk analysis of school zones, nominations by schools and communities and local knowledge of problem areas.

Camera Detected Offence Program

The Camera Detected Offence Program includes mobile speed cameras, fixed speed cameras, red light cameras, combined red light and speed cameras, point-to-point speed camera systems, and trailer mounted speed cameras. In the last year we added equipment to the highest-risk locations across the state:

  • 2 new combined red light and speed cameras
  • 3 new point-to-point speed camera systems
  • 14 multipurpose sites.

An evaluation in of the Camera Detected Offence Program released in 2017 by Monash University estimated that it was associated with saving nearly 3,900 police reported crashes each year between 2012 and 2015, along with savings to the community of approximately $1.4 billion.

Sign spearing safety solution

We worked with Transport New South Wales to implement a low-cost solution to make collisions between road signs and windscreens safer. This solution involves using strengthened brackets and fasteners to prevent signs from sliding along their poles, reducing the risk of injury and death from colliding with a road sign.

This research has been recognised with safety and innovation awards, including:

  • Innovation Award at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland—Queensland University of Technology Queensland Road Safety Awards
  • Professional Excellence in Traffic Engineering/Management (2017 Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management Excellence Awards)
  • Finalist in the 2017 3M-Australasian College of Road Safety ‘Diamond Road Safety Awards’.

The second stage of this project will involve implementation throughout 2018–19.

A road safety test using sign-spearing technology
Testing sign spearing technology

A symbol for safety

We use large yellow figures on construction projects to create a visual awareness of the people who are working on site. These are a reminder for site employees and road users to be mindful of their surroundings.

These figures have also been used as markers to protect underground testing equipment and placed on settlement plates to monitor the amount of soil that can be loaded onto the ground.

A yellow figure on the Gateway Upgrade North project site
A yellow figure in place on the Gateway Upgrade North project site

Event Traffic Marshal scheme

We introduced an Event Traffic Marshal scheme which allows trained local volunteers to perform traffic control at low speed or low risk environments, such as sporting and community events. Previously these roles could only be performed by accredited traffic controllers, adding to the cost of holding the event.

We performed community consultation to make sure that the scheme would meet community needs and have received positive feedback from local event organisers who say that the savings has allowed them to run more events.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie

More than 600 sites across 29 local government areas required repairs caused by the heavy rainfall from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Repairs are estimated to cost up to $200 million—$64.18 million was spent in 2017–18.

These works include:

Sarina Range excavation and placement of soil nails at the main slip site
  • Sarina Range: works have been completed at the main landslip site, including soil nailing and mesh installation to stabilise the slope. Reconstruction works have been completed at 21 of the 26 landslip sites.
  • Lamington National Park Road: we completed works at 3 of the most critical sites. Reconstruction works are in progress at over 80 remaining sites.
  • Gold Coast–Springbrook Road: reconstruction works are in progress at 53 sites within the closed section and 19 sites outside the closure.
  • Nerang-Murwillumbah Road: reconstruction works in progress at the main landslip site.
  • Tomewin Mountain Road: we repaired the main landslip site in February 2018 and reconstruction of the remaining sites is underway.
  • Beechmont Road: reconstruction began in April 2018.
  • Gladstone-Monto Road: we finished reconstruction at 5 landslip sites in May 2018.

Read more in our annual report