Maranoa Regional Council. Photo: Lachlan Berlin
Maranoa Regional Council. Photo: Lachlan Berlin

Maranoa council apply for funding to minimise driver fatigue

Research shows run-off road crashes have been a significant contributor to injuries and fatalities on rural roads in the Maranoa.

Now, Maranoa councillors are applying for funding from the Queensland government for the development of awareness videos to make drivers more aware of the unique risks associated with driving on roads in the region.

According to the council agenda dated March 24, councillors have previously discussed that the cumulative daily road fatalities for 2020 are well in advance of the average for the last five years, being between 2015-2019. Shown in Figure 1.

Figures taken from Maranoa Regional Council agenda dated Wednesday, March 24 2021.
Figures taken from Maranoa Regional Council agenda dated Wednesday, March 24 2021.

The second digraph shows crash type by numbers of serious injury and fatal in environments where the speed limit is 100 km per hour, for example rural roads.

Figures taken from Maranoa Regional Council agenda dated Wednesday, March 24 2021.
Figures taken from Maranoa Regional Council agenda dated Wednesday, March 24 2021.

The data is specifically for the Maranoa region and includes data from the last five years.

As shown in the graph, run-off road crash types are a significant contributor to serious injury and fatalities on rural roads in the region.

This information enformed the officer’s recommendation that council submit an application for funding under the Community Road Safety Grants for the development of an awareness video regarding some of the unique risks associated with driving in the Maranoa, and great southwestern Queensland, with a particular focus on run-off road type crashes.

In the council meeting on Wednesday, March 24 councillor Joh Hancock said she liked the officer’s recommendation, but asked whether council could include another project to include signage with questions and answers, for example ‘When was the Cobb and Co museum opened?’, between towns in the Maranoa.

The signs would be on roads between towns, like Roma and Mitchell and have a question on one sign then the answer 100 metres away.

Cr Hancock said it could be another innovative way for a driver fatigue program.

The program is offered by the state government and administered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and if successful, the council could receive up to $20,000.

Councillors were told that it’s likely that only one option would be chosen, however they should still ask the question.

The video would explain to drivers the risks of driving in the region, like how to pull off from roads with road trains on narrow roads or being aware of wildlife, which are the biggest contributors to fatalities in the area.

Mayor Tyson Golder moved that councillors submit for funding from the state government for the videos, but to also advocate to the local Department of Transport and Main Roads to consider submitting a fatigue management signage project under the program.

“I do think this is a very interesting idea, and if we can make the videos short enough and make them interesting enough... I think it should help fatigue management issues and to get people home safely,” mayor Golder said.

“Interesting to put it up and see if we can get funding for the people of the Maranoa.”

Councillor George Ladbrook seconded the notion, and the remaining councillors but Cr Cameron O’Neil who was absent for that discussion, voted in favour.


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