Record death toll sparks road safety talks

Queensland roads are likely the deadliest in the nation with the state government organising a road safety roundtable this month.

The 299 lives lost in 2022 is Queensland's worst road toll in 13 years and higher than the 288 killed in NSW and 240 in Victoria, both of which have much higher populations.

Roads Minister Mark Bailey says the rise, after 277 deaths in 2021 and a record low of 220 in 2019, is a major concern.

He says the government will host a road safety roundtable with transport experts, stakeholders and industry leaders this month to work out solutions.

"It's actually got worse this year, so we're going to need a reset in terms of how people go about driving in Queensland, how we go about policy in Queensland for 2023 because we want 2023 to be a lot safer year on our roads," he told reporters on Monday.

"So what we'll be doing is calling a roundtable together, all our stakeholders in the last week of January to put everything on the table. We know there's a dual responsibility here and let's be clear about this: there's a responsibility on every driver, every time they drive to make safe choices.

"There's also a responsibility on government to be very aware and to respond from a policy point of view when things don't go the way we want them to go."

Queensland Police, the RACQ, Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group, the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland and the Department of Transport and Main Roads will be part of the talks.

Mr Bailey said speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing a seatbelt, distraction and fatigue were still the main factors in fatal accidents.

Special cameras rolled out in 2022 caught 119,862 drivers using their phones illegally and 52,542 drivers or front-seat passengers either not wearing a seatbelt or not wearing one properly.

With fines of $1078 for each incident, it's believed the cameras have netted the state government almost $186 million in revenue.

Opposition transport spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said it was hard to believe all that money was being reinvested in road safety given the death toll.

He questioned whether covert cameras had any proven impact on road safety.

"By the time a person gets caught for speeding by a covert camera, they get a fine in the letterbox a month later, they open it up, they can't even recall the incident," Mr Bleijie said.

"As opposed to that same person driving in the same location, visible police presence, visible signs, the person reacting, slowing down, preventing an accident, preventing loss of life. That would work far better than what the government are just doing at the moment."

Mr Bailey defended the government's road safety spending and record, saying Queensland's road toll in 2019 was the lowest in 50 years.