Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) says it will continue moving towards fully-controlled right turn movements at all of its signalised intersections.
In making the decision at its February Ordinary Meeting, Council Infrastructure Committee Chair, Councillor Carol Taylor said the safety of motorists was the most important factor to be considered.
“Any life lost is unacceptable so anything we can do to reduce risk, we should be doing,” she said.
“While motorist convenience and network congestion should be taken into consideration, the safety of all road users should be given the highest priority.”
The Department of Transport and Main Roads recommends all signalised intersections to have controlled right turns as the default arrangement.
“Council has been progressively installing filter right turn movements at signalised intersections it owns and manages for more than 10 years and designing new intersections to ensure right turn movements are fully controlled, either with arrows or through split phasing options,” said Cr Taylor.
“This is consistent with the approach taken by other South-East Queensland Councils, and is based on a best practice, safe systems approach to road safety.
The approach also complies with the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management and follows the principles of the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, the Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2022-2031, the TMR Road Safety Policy 2022 and the TRC Road Safety Strategy 2019-2023, she said.
“Statistics show the main type of crash caused by allowing filter right turns are right-turning vehicles colliding with oncoming vehicles, which tend to become serious accidents.”
Across the Toowoomba Region, right turn crashes make up 31% of all crashes at Council-controlled signals.
“Between July 2017 and December 2022, 38 filter right turn crashes resulted in 60 casualties at 21 different Council-owned and managed signalised intersections,” said Cr Taylor.
“In addition to the heartache and emotional trauma experienced when lives are lost, the monetary costs are quite significant and this is in turn borne by the entire community.
“It’s about providing an alternative to this by giving motorists a more safe passage through controlled right turns, rather than leaving it up to motorists to find a gap in the traffic. Though we may judge ourselves as good drivers, we need to remember that not all motorists are of the same capability,” she said.