An almost 20 per cent increase in year-on-year road deaths despite fewer motorists on Queensland's highways because of COVID-19 lockdown has police concerned of further carnage during the school holidays.
Five deaths over the weekend have taken this year's road toll to 116 which is 18 more than for the same period last year, Superintendent David Johnson said.
"This has got to stop," Mr Johnson pleaded.
The Road Policing Command police officer told reporters that speed had been a major issue and drug and drink driving was a concern.
He said that since police restarted Roadside Breath Testing operations a couple of weeks ago, there had been an alarming number of positive drugs tests.
"Since we launched static RBT and roadside drug testing two weeks ago, we are picking up one in three drivers with suspected illegal substances (in their system)."
Slowing down through roadside construction areas was a concern for Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.
He said with many families expected to hit the road for the first time since COVID-19 started, they need to be aware of billions of dollars in road projects underway around the state.
He said roads such as the Bruce Highway and the M1 are in sections under construction and it's vital motorists obey roadwork speed restrictions.
"We've made huge strides combating COVID-19...we can't afford to see that translate into deaths on our roads," Mr Bailey said.
"Worryingly though, the data shows more lives have been lost on our roads so far this year compared to 2019, so I'm pleading with drivers to pay particular attention to any changed traffic conditions."
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said drivers must obey lower speed limits passing through roadworks.
"It's crucial motorists slow down and take extra care around roadworks," Mr Spalding said.
Australian Associated Press