Students in the Western Downs region had the opportunity to learn about rail safety week as Queensland Rail visits schools to reinforce the message that level crossings can kill. Queensland Rail Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Benstead said Queensland Rail’s Community Engagement team visited the region’s schools to educate students about the very real danger in ignoring level crossing warnings.
“There have been 83 near misses at level crossings in regional Queensland in the first six months of this year alone – we are extremely concerned it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed,” Mr Benstead said.
“Too many people are gambling with their lives for the sake of saving a couple of minutes, and pedestrians and motorists need to be aware that one mistake around a level crossing could be fatal. Our Community Engagement Officers are visiting local schools and businesses across the Western Downs region to urge residents to obey the law and stay focused at level crossings. Across our network this year we’ve seen 213 near misses with 83 of those in regional Queensland. We’ve also recorded incidents in Chincilla where drivers have diced with death by taking on freight trains. Some motorists won’t get away with it – this year we’ve seen a serious collision at the Nicholson Street level crossing in Dalby and a semi-trailer collided with a grain train at the Carnarvon Highway level crossing at Thallon recently.”
“Incidents like these can easily end in tragedy, but could be avoided so easily. We cannot understand why motorists and pedestrians continue to ignore signs and signals at level crossings when a train is coming. By engaging with the local community through our education sessions we aim to improve people’s awareness of the danger and reduce the occurrences of near misses and accidents with trains.”
“I am pleading with people to obey the law. It should not take a fatality in the region for the message to get through.”
“Getting the message to students is important and we hope they will take the message home with them and educate their families too. If we can make someone stop, think, and wait for the train, then we’ve made a difference.
“Before you take a risk around level crossings or railway lines, take the time to think about the consequences. Don’t gamble with your life at level crossings.”