Skip links and keyboard navigation

Road safety

Action plan reflects holistic approach to road safety

The Queensland Road Safety Action Plan 2020–21 is the third and final action plan under the current Queensland Road Safety Strategy.

A series of road safety forums and consultation with members of the community, academia, local government, and industry has resulted in a comprehensive action plan, containing actions relevant to urban and rural environments and different road users across Queensland.

This is particularly important given that regional communities disproportionately shoulder the burden of the road toll, with over half of all road fatalities occurring on rural roads.

The action plan reflects a holistic approach to road safety, with showcase actions that represent multi-layered, complex, and strategic reforms targeted at making the most impact on serious road trauma.

There are 50 actions guided by safe system principles to address culture, health and behaviour, environment and infrastructure, and planning.

Read more about our road safety strategy and action plans.

Targeted Road Safety Initiatives

The department has an ambitious vision for the future – zero road deaths and serious injuries. The Targeted Road Safety Program is delivering jointly funded initiatives dedicated to the delivery of high benefit safety interventions and route-based treatments to support safer roads and roadsides. The Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2019­–20 to 2022–23 (QTRIP) outlines more than $900 million over the four year period for targeted upgrades to ensure roads are safer.

Key projects from QTRIP 2019–20 to 2022–23 delivered during 2019–20 include:

  • $14 million for safety treatments on Mount Lindesay Highway–Brisbane to Beaudesert
  • $3.5 million for an intersection upgrade on Brisbane-Woodford Road at Dixon Street
  • $1.8 million for intersection improvements on Strathpine-Samford Road at Eden Drive.

StreetSmarts road safety campaigns

In 2019–20, several road safety and education campaigns were run to encourage safer road use.

‘You’re no dummy’ encouraged young people and their parents to buy the safest cars they can afford (August to October 2019). This campaign was the winning idea from the fourth Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge.

The ‘Leave Your Phone Alone’ campaign educated drivers about the dangers of distracted driving (September to October 2019 and January to March 2020).

‘LiftLegend’ targeted drink driving across the Christmas-New year period and the Australia Day long weekend.

Events and sponsorships in 2019–20 included:

  • Queensland Road Safety Week in partnership with Queensland Police Service (26–30 August 2019)
  • partnering with Queensland Cricket including ‘LiftLegend’ promotion at Brisbane Heat Big Bash League games (Summer 2019–20)
  • the fifth Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge in Rockhampton (March 2020)
  • sponsoring Fatality Free Friday (29 May 2020).

Underpinning the department's ongoing road safety communication and engagement is the StreetSmarts’ social media posts, reaching between 1 million–1.5 million people every month.

Read more about StreetSmarts Initiatives.

Cross-agency data bureau

To better understand the social and economic costs of road trauma, a five-person unit was established to analyse road crash and trauma data from various government agencies to help reduce the state's road toll. This five-unit team includes representatives from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Police, Queensland's Motor Accident Insurance Commission and Queensland Health's Jamieson Trauma Institute.

The team will help Queensland understand the extent of the social, emotional and economic costs inflicted by road trauma.

Road Safety Education Blueprint

The department has recently delivered Queensland's Road Safety Education Blueprint – guiding Queensland’s approach to road safety education from birth to young adulthood.

The blueprint was developed in consultation with stakeholders representing road safety program providers, emergency services, police and justice, education, researchers, and community groups.

The document provides 28 actions that sit across six focus areas. These actions support a whole-of-life road safety educational approach and will equip children and young adults with the skills and knowledge to become safer pedestrians, cyclists, and road users.

Recognising the different influences on children and youth, the actions seek to enlist parents and carers, educators, and the wider community in supporting the department in delivering road safety education.

Community Road Safety Grants

The Community Road Safety Grants Scheme has awarded over $20 million since 2013, funding programs including road safety education, resources and training, learner driver mentor programs for young drivers, bicycle education, child restraint information, and heavy vehicle fatigue management.

In 2019–20, the Community Road Safety Grants Scheme awarded over $225,000 to 26 successful community organisations. The grants provide opportunities for community organisations to lead and support local road safety initiatives within their local communities.

Examples of grants awarded in 2019–20:

  • $19,800 to Lions Club of Gympie for the delivery of a safer seniors' road safety education and awareness project
  • $31,655 to the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and Whitsunday Community Services for the delivery of seatbelts (child restraints) education and awareness projects to local not-for-profit staff and rural and remote communities
  • $3245 to Logan City Council and Pioneer Community Pre-School and Kindergarten Association Inc for the delivery of childhood road safety education and awareness projects to kindergarten and school children
  • $1393 to the Flagstone State School Parents and Citizens Association for the delivery of a pedestrian education and awareness project
  • $19,560 to the Nambour Community Centre to support Australian and migrant women, some of whom are experiencing family and/or domestic violence or are migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds, build the skills to enable them to obtain a driver's licence
  • $11,818 to Rock FM Association Inc to deliver a driver education campaign via the radio during peak drive times. The campaign focusses on fatigue management, driver distraction, drink driving, speeding and sharing the road.

Read more about community road safety grants.

Targeted Road Safety Program

The Targeted Road Safety Program delivers targeted infrastructure safety treatments on the state and local government road networks which have a significant crash history or other identified safety problems. There are currently 12 sub-programs including Safer Roads Sooner, Federal Black Spot Program, Mass Action Programs, Route Actions, and Vulnerable Users Program.

$125 million has been expended on the delivery of over 500 safety projects statewide including:

  • route and intersection safety treatments on the Mount Lindesay Highway
  • safety works on Gladstone-Benaraby Road
  • lane widening and shoulder works on the Tamborine Oxenford Road.

Queensland Road Safety Week

Queensland Road Safety Week 2019 ran from 26–30 August 2019, and was delivered in partnership with the Queensland Police Service. The ‘road safety first' theme focused on rural and regional road safety.

2019 marked the fifth year of the annual event which continues to grow each year and held almost 600 grassroots events across the state to encourage local communities to engage with road safety.

For the first time, the statewide event included regional visits by the Minister for Transport and Main Roads travelling to four locations (Cairns, Townsville, Bundaberg and Roma) accompanied by the Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner (Road Policing Command) and industry representatives.

The department continued its partnership with Queensland Cricket to use their Regional Tour as a platform to reach school students at more than 40 events, including the Brisbane Heat Opening Day event, and through social media.

Major events during the week included:

  • the launch of the department's Co–Lab campaign 'You're no dummy', which aimed to encourage young drivers to purchase the safest vehicle for their budget
  • CARRS–Q Queensland Road Safety Awards
  • local stakeholder forums in Cairns, Townsville, Roma, and Bundaberg, including one on ‘Safe driving as we age’
  • community events including the Buckle Up Kids event in Cairns partnering with Kidsafe and the local emergency services teams to offer child restraint checks and fitting advice.

Read more about Queensland Road Safety Week 2019.

Mobile phone distraction

The department is putting in place a series of measures to tackle illegal mobile phone use. These ideas were identified by industry, government, and academic stakeholders at the National Summit on Driver Distraction hosted by Queensland in July 2019.

On 1 February 2020, penalties were increased to $1000 and four demerit points, which is a significant increase from the previous penalties of $400 and three demerit points.

The popular ‘Leave Your Phone Alone’ campaign was re-run to educate Queenslanders on the new penalties with independent market research finding drivers are now more likely to reduce their illegal mobile phone use and encourage others to do the same.

The department is also trialling new camera technology designed to detect when drivers are using their mobile phones illegally while driving.

These and other measures are outlined in the National Roadmap on Driver Distraction and in Queensland’s Road Safety Action Plan 2020–21.


The 2019–20 #LiftLegend drink driving campaign, re-run over the Christmas/New Year/Australia Day holiday season, achieved excellent levels of recall, exceeding almost all measurable objectives and benchmarks including effectively influencing behaviour change. More than eight in 10 Queensland drivers recognised at least one element of the campaign, with an outstanding 90 per cent of 21 to 39 year old males in South East Queensland and 21 to 30 year old females in regional Queensland recalling at least one message.

#LiftLegend achieved more than 24.7 million impressions and over 1.8 million video completions during the campaign period.

Co–Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge Rockhampton 2020

Co–Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge is an annual co-design event where teams of young people pitch an idea for a road safety campaign aimed at their peers. The winning concept is then developed into a campaign for online and social media channels.

Young drivers are one of the most at-risk groups on the road, however, they are notoriously difficult to reach through traditional road safety marketing and advertising. Co–Lab campaigns have not just been successful in reaching this key audience, they have also empowered them to be part of the solution. 

The fifth Co–Lab was held in Rockhampton in March 2020, with a focus on improving road safety for young people in regional Queensland.  

Fifty young Queenslanders participated in teams, competing to develop a road safety campaign that would encourage their peers to drive at the safest speed for the conditions.  

The winning campaign idea for Co–Lab 2020 is still under wraps and is due to be launched later in 2020.

Read more about the Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge.

Fatality Free Friday 2020

The department once again proudly supported the 2020 Australian Road Safety Foundation's Fatality Free Friday campaign, held on Friday 29 May 2020. The campaign is Australia's largest community-based road safety day and remembers those who have lost their lives on Australian roads.

A digital campaign encouraged the public to choose road safety and show their commitment by making an online pledge. The department supported the campaign via social media. Customer Service Centres and regional offices worked closely with their community networks to extend the promotion, particularly with Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, and local schools.

Takata Airbag Recall

By taking action against the registration of high-risk vehicles, the department is working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, other government agencies, and the automotive industry to remove faulty Takata airbags from our roads.

This action involves a series of escalating steps including a courtesy letter, defect notice, and ultimately registration cancellation if vehicle owners do not replace their faulty airbags.

Vehicles fitted with 'alpha' type Takata airbags, considered the highest safety risk, were targeted as part of the first stage of the process. Manufacturers and the ACCC have confirmed that certain 'beta' type Takata airbags also pose a high safety risk. These vehicles are now being targeted by the department as part of the next stage of the recall.


The department has developed Journi, a free and interactive road safety education website designed to increase applied knowledge and skills around safe road and travel practices of children in years five to six.

Journi supports Queensland teachers to implement the Australian Curriculum, while engaging students in meaningful learning. The program has linkages to both the Health and Physical Education and Digital Technologies learning areas of the Australian Curriculum, helping the program fit seamlessly into the classroom.

Students are guided through Journi by Roadbot, an animated character designed to assist student's inquiry and reflection. They progress through the program by completing activities, animations, videos, games, quizzes, and up to three pieces of assessment under guidance from their teacher.

Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative

Since 2016, the Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative has been preparing the department for the arrival of new vehicle technologies.

The CHAD Pilot launched the CAVI First500 demonstrations in March 2020, where community members experienced the self-driving cooperative and highly automated, ZOE2, on-road, in live traffic conditions. Based out of the TAFE Queensland Bundamba campus, over 70 community members, across 32 sessions, took part in the ZOE2 community demonstration days.

Each session involved a 10 minute on road experience and the chance to participate in important research being conducted by QUT. For many this was their first experience in an automated vehicle – especially one as advanced as the ZOE2. Questions about the programmed trajectory and the use of pre-programmed maps were popular. After this initial success,  the department looks forward to bringing ZOE2 to the community in future. The demonstrations were halted at the end of March 2020 due to COVID-19.

The CHAD pilot is being delivered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, in partnership with QUT (Queensland University of Technology), iMOVE Australia and Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC).

Read more about connected and automated vehicles.