New campaign to combat level crossing collisions

The Queensland Government will launch a $1 million safety campaign to reduce the number of level crossing incidents

The Queensland Government will launch a $1 million safety campaign to reduce the number of incidents at rail level crossings on the back of a multi-million dollar investment in rail safety.

The initiative will be made up of advertisements, an education package, online tools and outdoor billboards as the Government tries to avert fatal collisions, such as those which have happened in North Queensland.

Mickel says the trucking and bus industries will play a key role in the campaign because both sectors are at greater risk of colliding with a train due to frequency of travel.

Advertisements will be plastered around truck stops and petrol stations where drivers gather.

Mickel says the campaign is part of an unprecedented spending program of $65 million to improve rail level crossing safety across the state.

"The major funding source is a $42 million Federal Government injection over two years which will accelerate the installation of boom gates and other active rail crossing control mechanisms at level crossings throughout Queensland," Mickel says.

He says another $13 million will be part of a long-term program, while $10 million will be allocated to QR as part of its upgrade to crossings in North Queensland.

"Works to be undertaken at level crossing sites may include, boom gates and flashing lights, active advanced warning lights and signs, rumble strips, flashing strobe lights and additional signage and road markings."

Although there has been a 50 percent drop in collisions the past decade, the number of incidents involving heavy vehicles has increased from 15 percent to 24 percent over the same period.

Of all incidents in Queensland the past seven years, the road user was responsible for 98 percent of collisions.

Mickel says 50 percent of collisions occurred at crossings with boom gates and flashing lights.

Mickel says Queensland Rail (QR) spends more than $250,000 each year on rail safety, but more must be done to improve driver behaviour around 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.

He says trains are bigger and fast then ever before, and motorists need to realise trains cannot swerve or brake suddenly to avoid a collision.

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