The Mining Industry and Road Safety Alliance (MIRSA) is an alliance of coal mining companies, associated service and contractor companies operating in the central Queensland region, with a common goal to improve road safety on regional highways.
Expansion of mining activities in the region has resulted in a substantial increase in traffic flows on local highways and road systems. MIRSA aims to educate mine employees and contractors throughout the Bowen Basin about road safety issues such as fatigue and speeding risks, wide load movements through various activities such as roadside billboards and safety campaigns.
MIRSA works with the Mackay/Whitsunday Road Accident Action Group (RAAG), a community-based organisation comprising government, industry and community representatives, which is involved in the development and implementation of programs to reduce incidents of road trauma in the region. More »
MIRSA has developed an ongoing program of road safety initiatives targeting mining communities and facilitates improved highway infrastructure in the Bowen Basin. Major activities are outlined below.
Fatigue Education Sessions
Aim: To provide road safety education (fatigue awareness) sessions at minesites to employees within, and associated with, the mining industry.
Status: As at 31 July 2007, over 8,400 people within the mining industry had participated in the Fatigue Awareness presentations.
Aim: To work with Main Roads Mackay and Emerald Districts and use the leverage of MIRSA’s membership to accelerate road infrastructure projects within the Bowen Basin.
Status: By mid-2007, this had resulted in the completion of 9 new overtaking lanes, and 4 new pullover areas between Nebo and the Eton Range.
Additional work has included the installation of mileage markers on the Fitzroy Development Road (Mt Flora-Dingo) as well as targeted road safety projects for road widening, delineation, rumble strips and audible edge lines.
Solar powered flag lights have been installed at some remote intersections, along with audio-tactile line marking and solar powered pavement markers on the Eton Range.
Aim: To work with Main Roads and Queensland Police to establish better coordination of movements of wide loads throughout the Bowen Basin networks, and educate the wider community on how to safely share the road with wide loads.
Status: MIRSA has been involved as part of a team to review load movements throughout the Bowen Basin.
MIRSA produced a ‘wide loads’ brochure to encourage motorists to drive carefully when encountering wide loads; these have been distributed to area visitors through caravan parks and motels in the region. MIRSA advertises wide load safety on local television at peak traffic times such as school holidays, Easter and Christmas periods.
Bus Usage Survey
Aim: To gauge the level of interest in bus services provided to convey employees between worksites and single persons quarters, and worksites and homes in mining towns and regional centres.
Status: A survey of bus usage and comments on levels of interest has been conducted.
Aim: To ensure rental vehicles used by mining industry personnel are provided with safety checklists at airports.
Status: Safety checklists were designed to hang from the rear vision mirror as a reminder to drivers of their safe driving obligations. These have been provided as part of partnerships with car hire companies in Mackay, Emerald, Blackwater and Moranbah.
Aim: To install billboards displaying road safety messages throughout the Bowen Basin. These are replaced twice a year.
Status: Fourteen billboards are in place along the Peak Downs Highway, the Mt Flora-Dingo Road and the Capricorn Highway between Blackwater and Emerald. Messages focus on fatigue management, with specific themes designed for holiday driving etc.
Aim: Develop and facilitate the introduction of a safe driving program for high school students in the region to help prepare them for driving on regional highways.
Status: Queensland Minerals and Education Academy (QMEA) have introduced the BRAKE Young Driver Education Program to nine Central Highlands high schools in 2008 and 2009. MIRSA have supported the appointment of a Central Queensland Co-ordinator, Cathie Fint. Read More about the BRAKE Program »
Aim: Launch regular road safety campaigns with various messages across the Central Queensland Region to improve road safety awareness. These involve the distribution of campaign materials, posters etc to media and minesites.
Status: Different themes have been promoted in the region via media campaigns, including:
- Risk taking behaviours
- Lights on and Live – it won't cost you anything but could save your life
- Fatigue – families and communities
- Caravans – share the highway to a happy holiday
- Operation Loose Load – what can fall from the back of your vehicle?
- Wide Loads – Respect on the highways
- Choices – what consequences will follow?
- The Fatal Four