Qld road toll reaches 200
WARNING: Confronting Video
Frustrated and heartbroken police have caught a speeding motorcyclist clocking 104km in a 60km zone while riding with an eight-year-old passenger on the back, the same week the state recorded it's 212th road related death.
The sting was part of a weekend operation targeting speeding drivers in regional mountainous areas, as police crack down on high numbers of drivers exceeding the speed limit.
212 road users have died on Queensland roads this year to date - a number so high it almost matches last year's total of 219 road fatalities - but with two months to go.
Assistant Commissioner Ben Marcus of the Queensland Police Service today gave several terrifying examples of speeding motorists doing the wrong thing, as police this weekend launched their targeted QPS operation Hills.
Over the weekend, police in the Gold Coast hinterland caught a P-plater drink driving at a speed of 38km/h over the speed limit, while another driver was caught driving at two times the speed limit with two young kids in the back.
Horrifyingly, police also caught one motorist driving at a speed of 151km in mountainous terrain signposted at 60km.
Most terrifying however, was the motorbike rider who drove 44km over the speed limit with their eight-year-old passenger on the back, in the notorious mountain ranges of the Gold Coast that just months ago claimed seven lives in a horror few weeks.
Assistant Commissioner Marcus said it is imperative drivers take speeding seriously, as the state is headed towards one of the worst years for road fatalities to date.
"Our roads are not racetracks," Assistant Commissioner Marcus said.
"That's where our children are, that's where our families are.
" … We shouldn't accept that we are going to have around a couple of hundred people a year killed in traffic crashes. Traffic crashes are by and large entirely foreseeable and preventable."
This year, passenger fatalities are up 16.7 per cent on the five year average, while pedestrian and driver deaths are up nearly eight per cent each.
The staggering spike in numbers, the RACQ believes, is likely due to the impact COVID-19 is having on our roads.
According to RACQ spokesman Paul Turner, some road users are treating this period as an opportunity to test their speedometers.
"We're seeing a situation that before the end of October, our road toll is basically where it was for the entirety of last year," RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said.
"What we're seeing here is a small percentage of motorists putting everyone else at risk.
"It's almost impossible to understand at a time when the world is going through this pandemic and this great crisis, and yet, some, a small percentage of drivers, are taking this as an opportunity to go out and do ridiculous speeds on dangerous roads … There's no excuse for it. It's killing Queenslanders, it's killing teenagers, and it's putting our kids and our families at enormous risk."
Mr Turner said speeding accounts for one in five of our road deaths, while a survey of 769 RACQ members recorded 75 per cent of road users believe speeding is worse now than it was five years ago.
"It's something we can all avoid. And yet, we are still seeing these ridiculous speeds on curving roads in mountainous area," Mr Turner said.
As well as speeding motorists, a change in traffic patterns as a result of COVID has also led to the rise in road deaths, according to police.
"What we have now seen is a bit of an enduring change in traffic patterns. People are less likely to use public transport than they were before COVID," said Assistant Commissioner Marcus.
"What we know about public transport, is that it is inherently safer.
"People try to outweigh the risks of driving their vehicle or riding their bicycle against the possible biological danger of being in close proximity to others. That's certainly something that we are trying to get out to people - that public transport is safe, and if you take precautions, it is a safe way to go."
Assistant Commissioner Marcus said although there are a small number of people driving at appallingly high speeds, the majority of Queenslanders are doing the right thing.
"'d like to thank the people doing the speed limit and doing the right thing," he said.
"But I have to call out the people who are acting selfishly and dangerously.
"Unfortunately, I'm going to stand up in front of you again next week, and unfortunately that number of 212 (deaths) will be a memory, it will be a higher number.
"Just do the speed limit - every body is happy."
Originally published as Qld road toll reaches 200