Afghanistan war hero Ben Roberts-Smith has launched a campaign to reduce the number of deaths on central Queensland roads.

Decorated Victoria Cross soldier Ben Roberts-Smith has launched a road safety campaign in central Queensland.

The Afghanistan war hero, who was awarded the highest military honour for gallantry in 2011, appeared alongside Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and Police Minister Jack Dempsey in Rockhampton on Sunday to highlight how Queensland’s central region last year recorded the state’s highest death rate.

“We need to raise the awareness of the dangers on our roads and the simple steps we can all take to reduce those risks,” he said in a statement.

“It’s important for our children to learn the importance of our road rules and the need to respect other drivers long before they get behind the wheel themselves.

“Failure to respect the road rules, the road conditions or other road-users is a gamble not worth taking.”

Corporal Roberts-Smith last year retired from the Australian Defence Force after 17 years of service, and transferred to the reserves.