‘What is going wrong in Australia’: Shocking danger on rural roads
DRIVERS are throwing the rule book out the window and taking more risks on rural roads, research from the Australian Road Safety Foundation reveals.
The study claimed the majority of Queenslanders admitted they were more likely to break a road rule when driving on rural roads and were more likely to speed or cross double white lines.
This comes as statistics show more than half of Australia’s road deaths happened on rural roads last year.
Australian Road Safety Foundation CFO Russell White said he believed drivers took more risks on rural roads because they perceived less risk and a lower likelihood of getting caught.
The study and government statistics consider a “rural road” as any road outside a main metropolis.
Mackay Road Accident Action Group member Graeme Ransley said the findings of the study were not a surprise.
“It does tie in very closely with lots of previous research and anecdotally what we knew was happening locally,” he said.
“I think we have a problem, not just in the rural roads in our area but it is quite obvious we have a problem nationally.”
Mr Ransley said Australia’s road toll was shockingly high when compared to other countries.
“What is going wrong in Australia? That report brings it clearly to light, the only thing it can be ... is attitude and behaviour of drivers,” he said.
He suggested a better use of technology to prevent distracted drivers could help solve some of the problems.
“For example, there is quite good GPS technology which can disconnect phones in dangerous situations ... (like) when you get to joining traffic,” he said.
“My honest belief is that phones should disconnect at that time.”
He said dangerous situations came back to human behaviour.
“It is not the roads that are dangerous, it is the people driving towards you on the road.”