TRAGIC STATISTICS: Motorcyclists are involved in 12% of fatalities on Sunshine Coast roads.
TRAGIC STATISTICS: Motorcyclists are involved in 12% of fatalities on Sunshine Coast roads. Scottie Simmonds

Sunshine Coast roads are a deadly risk to pedestrians

ONE in 10 road deaths on the Sunshine Coast involve pedestrians - and even more involve motorbikes.

Queensland Government statistics show between 2001 and 2014, 405 people were killed in crashes on Sunshine Coast roads - higher than every local government area in Queensland except Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The Sunshine Coast outranked the Logan and Moreton Bay regions which have larger populations.

Although most fatal crashes involved only cars, about 12% of all fatal crashes over the period on the Coast involved a motorbike and 10% involved a pedestrian.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said pedestrians were some of the most at-risk people in cities.

"Crashes involving pedestrians more often than not occur in built-up areas," she said.

"It's not just people behind the wheel of a car who are at risk from distraction. More and more people with headphones on who can't hear traffic coming are being involved in crashes."

Ms Ritchie said recreational motorbike riders, in contrast to commuter riders, were especially at risk of dangerous crashes.

"Recreational riders are more likely to be involved in crashes at higher speeds in more rural areas," Ms Ritchie said.

Ms Ritchie said last year (2015) Queensland had more than twice as many motorcycle deaths as 2012.

Australian Road Safety Foundation chief Russell White said pedestrians and drivers all needed to keep an eye out for the other.

Mr White said road conditions and locations made different transportation modes more likely to be involved in a crash depending on where it happened.

"It's not just the volume but the type of traffic on the road," Mr White said.

"A truck driver on a country road or major highway has a different mindset than a holiday-maker on a Gold Coast road."

Statistics revealed that cars are involved in about 64% of fatal crashes on Sunshine Coast roads, motorcyclists in 12%, pedestrians in 10%, trucks in 8%, bicycles in 2%, buses in 1%, and all other vehicles in 2%.


New laws to know

LAWS introduced last year (2015) mean motorists in 60kmh zones must stay a metre away from a cyclist.

Under the laws that came into effect in April, cars must be at least 1m away from a bicycle when passing in zones of up to 60kmh and at least 1.5m away when the speed limit is above 60kmh.

If a driver is unable to give the cyclist the proper distance and stay in their lane, they are able to cross unbroken centre and lane lines and drive onto painted traffic islands when safe.

The laws also made penalties more severe for cyclists who break the road rules - putting them in line with car drivers.

Cyclists are also reminded to stay alert at intersections - where most crashes occur, be aware of traffic behind them, ride in straight lines, watch out for car doors and follow the road rules. - APN NEWSDESK

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