Queensland police have already put in place a large RBT on a major highway, as thousands of Brisbane residents are expected to leave town as the lockdown ends.
Queensland police have already put in place a large RBT on a major highway, as thousands of Brisbane residents are expected to leave town as the lockdown ends.

Motorway madness as 2.5m released from lockdown

Easter traffic is expected to be worse than usual when the lockdown lifts for Greater Brisbane at noon.

Traffic flowed freely northbound and southbound on the major roads leaving Brisbane on Thursday morning but RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie cautioned that was likely to change when restrictions ease for millions of Queenslanders ahead of the long weekend.

"Usually, people heading away for the long weekend are able to stagger their journey times over Wednesday and Thursday to avoid getting caught in peak-hour gridlock but this year that's been condensed to one afternoon," Ms Ritchie said.

 

Traffic flows freely northbound on the Bruce Highway at Burpengary before lockdown is lifted on April 1.
Traffic flows freely northbound on the Bruce Highway at Burpengary before lockdown is lifted on April 1.

 

"Come midday today around 2.5 million people in Greater Brisbane will be released from lockdown, meaning those hitting the road will likely experience extensive delays and congestion, especially on the Pacific Motorway, Bruce Highway and Gateway Motorway.

"We say it every year, but please be patient and allow extra time, because the roads will be busier than usual."

Drivers are not required to wear masks in their own vehicles however masks are still required on public transport, in ride sharing vehicles, indoors or anywhere that social distancing isn't possible.

The Gold Coast police have already launched a massive road blitz as Brisbane residents prepare to hit the Glitter Strip in droves for Easter after the lockdown was lifted.

Coast police set up a large RBT site on the Gold Coast Highway at Southport on Thursday and warned they will maintain a heavy presence on local roads throughout the Easter long weekend and school holidays.

Gold Coast police Superintendent Rhys Wildman said the crackdown was in response to the state's worryingly high road toll, which was on target to reach 300 this year for the first time in more than a decade.

An RBT has been set up on the Gold Coast Highway. Picture: Greg Stolz
An RBT has been set up on the Gold Coast Highway. Picture: Greg Stolz

Seventy-four people have lost their lives on Queensland roads so far this year, 26 more than for the same period in 2020.

Supt Wildman said that while the Coast had recorded only one fatality so far this year - three fewer than for the same period last year - 'we can't rest on our laurels'.

"We had two collisions at the end of last year and in those two collisions, seven people lost their lives," he said.

"For us, we're getting on the front foot regarding not only the messaging (around safe driving) but also the enforcement."

Supt Wildman said with the lockdown lifted from noon, police were preparing for a 'dramatic' influx of motorists.

Ms Ritchie said drivers could expect to see a high police presence across the state over the weekend.

"Easter is one of the most dangerous times of year for motorists to travel, and with 74 lives already lost on our road this year, we are pleading with everyone to slow down, be tolerant of other road users and make a conscious effort to obey the rules," she said.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Police blitz begins: Motorway madness as 2.5m released from lockdown



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