Drivers dice with death at level crossings


AN ALARMING number of motorists narrowly missed colliding with Queensland trains during 2017-18, with the State Government recording a 33 per cent increase in near misses.

New figures released today reveal 248 motorists experienced a near miss between their vehicle or themselves and a train as a result of disobeying warning signs.

This is up from 127 incidents the previous financial year.

Ahead of Rail Safety Week next week, Transport Minister Mark Bailey and Queensland Rail today launched a new level crossing safety campaign called "Heavy metal stops for no one", to remind Queenslanders of the risk they face when ignoring the warnings.

It comes less than a month after former member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson collided with a cane train near the city.

Ms Donaldson is still recovering in hospital.

A level crossing near miss at Runcorn this year. Picture: Queensland Rail
A level crossing near miss at Runcorn this year. Picture: Queensland Rail

Mr Bailey said while the $100,000 campaign had nothing to do with Ms Donaldson's accident, it did reiterate the importance of safety.

"This was being planned a long time before that (accident) but it does reiterate the point of safety and obviously with Leanne she's very lucky to be here with us," he said.

"Leanne I'm sure would be very supportive of this campaign."

Mr Bailey said the "Heavy metal stops for no one" campaign aimed to drive home the message that trains were juggernauts that travelled at speed.

Peter Cohen, who has been a train driver for almost 20 years, said more trains were running than ever before.

"Once you're in the road of us the train can't stop in time," he said.

"The only thing that the train can do is go through you.

"The drivers will never ever forget it, it's an emotional thing."