BAD COMBINATION: Traffic snarls on the Bruce Hwy and poor driver behaviour increase the frustration of many motorists.
BAD COMBINATION: Traffic snarls on the Bruce Hwy and poor driver behaviour increase the frustration of many motorists. Brett Wortman

End the carnage: 1647 crashes in 13 years on Bruce Hwy

THE Bruce is the Sunshine Coast's highway to hell.

With 1647 smashes between 2001 and 2013, the major artery is the region's number one crash zone.

An analysis of Queensland Government accident data shows there were 17,589 crashes across the Sunshine Coast and Noosa council areas during the 13 years.

Rounding out the top five danger zones are the Sunshine Mwy with 824 crashes; Nicklin Way (748), Maroochydore-Noosa Rd (724) and Caloundra Rd (511).

Road conditions play a major part in the severity of crashes and authorities are committing millions of dollars to fix any problems.

The State Government will spend $4,226,337 over three years in the Main Roads North Coast region - which includes Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Caboolture council areas - under the Safer Roads Sooner program.

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The Sunshine Coast council is spending about $53 million on road-related projects this financial year and Noosa Council has set aside $8 million in 2014-15 for road repairs. A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said the council and other authorities worked together to improve roads.

"The council includes road safety reviews and audits as part of the design of all new roads and road upgrades throughout the region," the spokesman said.

"The council works collaboratively with road safety agencies in the region including the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service to identify and address local road safety issues."

RACQ senior road safety adviser Joel Tucker said the Bruce Hwy's crash record was "bad" and improving the key thoroughfare could mean the difference between life and death for some crash victims.

"A large proportion of deaths have occurred on the Bruce Hwy over the years because it is a very busy road and because it's a national highway," Mr Tucker said.

"There are still sections that are only one lane each way and some are undivided and curvy in parts as well.

"Driver behaviour is up to the individual and road authorities do not have direct control of this.

"All the motoring clubs are saying 'Get your roads in order'.

"If you build a good road today, it will be there tomorrow and it's going to be there 20 or 30 years before it needs too much work."

A representative for Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said $350 million would be spent on safety improvements along major arterials by 2020.

"The Queensland Government remains committed to working with the Federal Government in delivering $350 million in jointly-funded safety improvements on the Bruce Hwy between Brisbane and Cairns and $40 million on the Warrego Hwy, between Toowoomba and Miles over the next five years," the representative said.