‘Take it easy on the road’

Roadworks a headache but upgrades to deliver safety improvements to region

By Kirra Livingstone

POLICE are urging motorists to drive with more care following a series of serious hinterland accidents and extensive and ongoing roadworks along Steve Irwin Way (SIW).
The start of the winter school holidays in late June was marred by serious accidents on the Bruce Highway, with subsequent ‘rat running’ on Roys Rd and SIW resulting in further accidents. Roadworks along SIW range from 60km/hr, to 50km to 40km and then back to 60km and finally back to its usual 80km after the traffic lights on the Roys Road intersection.
While residents have complained about speed limits, a Queensland Police Service (QPS) spokesperson said motorists must always adhere to the speed limits and drive to the conditions.
“Roadworks present a range of hazards including uneven road surfaces, narrow road shoulders, changing speed limits, and road workers and traffic controllers present at the roadworks site,” the QPS spokesperson said.
“Driving through roadworks requires a driver’s complete care and attention to be aware of the changing road conditions.
“For the safety of road workers and all motorists within these zones, the Sunshine Coast Highway Patrol assists by performing mobile patrols and speed detection.”
The QPS spokesperson added police are running Operation Cold Snap over the school holidays, ramping up police presence on roads and static operations from June 22 to July 7. “Operation Cold Snap seeks to draw attention to the risks associated with speeding, fatigue, seatbelt use, driver distraction, driving while impaired and vehicle safety standards,” the QPS spokesperson said.
As of June 25, four people have died on Sunshine Coast roads this year, highlighting the importance of the operation.
The upgrades to Steve Irwin Way aim to widen the road to provide turning lanes, service roads, entry and exit points and road pavement to improve safety for motorists, expected to be complete in mid-2025.
A Transport and Main Roads (TMR) spokesperson said the upgrades are scheduled to be complete by mid-2025, weather and construction conditions permitting.
The spokesperson explained the project’s completion will reduce the potential for crashes.
“Reduced speed limits are in place across the work zone to advise motorists of the changed traffic conditions, and to provide a safe roadside environment for motorists and workers,” the TMR spokesperson said.
“Reduced speed limits will remain in place until the works are complete. “This stretch of road has a significant crash history, including rear-end, run-off-road and head-on crashes.”
Division 1 councillor, Jenny Broderick, said she understands that the roadworks are frustrating.
“With roadworks often comes pain for a greater gain. Thank you for your patience as the improvement of SIW continues,” she said.
“We know the outcome will be well worth the wait.”