New $1 million public awareness campaign targets level crossing safety

By: Chris Smith


The Queensland Government has launched a $1 million community education campaign to improve level crossing safety following two recent fatal

The Queensland Government has launched a $1 million community education campaign to improve level crossing safety following two recent fatal collisions and ongoing concerns about motorists’ behaviour.

The statewide ‘Some things are worth waiting for’ campaign includes TV, radio and newspaper advertising, an education package featuring a DVD and online tools, and outdoor billboards.

Transport Minister John Mickel says education is a key part of the Queensland Government’s plan to reduce accidents at level crossings.

"Level crossing safety is a complex problem and education, enforcement and engineering improvements must go together if we are to halt the alarming increase in accidents," Mickel says.

"QR already spends more than $250,000 each year to promote rail safety. This campaign will boost efforts to educate drivers about how to behave safely at level crossings.

"Today’s trains are bigger and faster than ever and motorists need to understand that trains can not stop quickly or swerve to miss vehicles.

"Motorists must be prepared to stop at level crossings, even if it costs them a few minutes, because otherwise if could cost them their lives or those of others.

"Level crossing accidents take a big toll on families and the wider community, and also on passengers and train drivers.

"We want to reduce this needless waste of life and the suffering it causes across Queensland."

Mickel says a key aspect of the campaign involved working closely with bus and trucking industries that were at greater risk of accident due to frequency of travel.

"Over the past decade the number of level crossing collisions has decreased by nearly 50 per cent," he says.

"Despite this promising trend, the proportion of collisions involving heavy vehicles has risen during this time.

"As part of this campaign we will be advertising at places such as truck stops and petrol stations that are gathering points for drivers."

Mickel says work to upgrade eight level crossings in North Queensland is progressing well.

"QR has begun initial work on the eight level crossings identified by the QR Taskforce, including improving signage, road markings and visibility," he says.

"Discussions have already been held about what further safety measures will be used in each location to fast track the improvements and get the work underway on the ground as quickly as possible.

"We are also giving priority consideration to the Taskforce recommendations for other statewide initiatives such as the lowering of the maximum speed limit at level crossings on major Queensland highways and the potential enforcement of traffic infringements with camera technology utilised to detect offences."

In the past decade the number of level crossing collisions has fallen by nearly 50 percent from 287 in 1991-1999 to 153 from 2000-2008.

The percentage of these collisions involving heavy vehicles has increased from 15 percent to 24 per cent during this time.

Of the level crossing collisions to occur on QR tracks in the past seven years:

  • 98 percent of collisions were directly attributable to the road user

  • 96 percent of collisions occurred at public level crossings

  • 50 percent of collisions occurred at crossings with boom gates and/or flashing lights

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