Stay Level Headed at Level Crossings

Near misses with pedestrians at level crossings is an ongoing issue on the Queensland Rail network.

Queensland Rail is committed to improving safety at level crossings through education, engineering upgrades and working with the Queensland Police Service, however, individuals have a crucial role in behaving safely by obeying signs and signals at pedestrian crossings.

A train tragedy doesn't only affect the victim, it affects their families, friends, first responders, traincrew, emergency services and  passengers. A great way to stay safe at level crossings is by being aware of your surroundings, be patient, avoiding distractions and only crossing when signals are clear and gates are open. It's not worth putting yourself in harm's way, stay level headed at level crossings.

In 2020, there were 81 near misses with pedestrians at level crossings, 95% occurred in SEQ
Impatience is the top reason why pedestrians cross illegally at rail crossings
Most common times for incidents with pedestrians at level crossings are 9am and 3pm
Trains on the QR network can take up to 2km to stop

Some advice from Gary's common sense tool shop

When using a pedestrian crossing:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, be patient and avoid distractions such as mobile phones and headphones – replying to that text message isn't worth risking your life
  • Always use the pedestrian walkway and only enter the crossing when the pedestrian gates are open
  • After a train has gone past, it is only safe to cross when the signals have stopped flashing and the gates are fully open – you never know if another train is coming in the other direction
  • Remember trains can't stop quickly. Passenger and freight trains run on the Queensland Rail network, some of which can move at speeds of up to 160 kilometres an hour, and they can't swerve to avoid someone. A train can take up to two kilometres to stop
  • Before you take a risk at level crossings, take time to think about the consequences and how many people will be affected by your actions.

The campaign

The Stay Level Headed at Level Crossings campaign aims to raise awareness of the risk and consequences of disobeying level crossing warning signs and signals amongst South East Queensland pedestrians.

During 2020, Queensland Rail experienced 81 near misses with pedestrians at level crossings. Of these near misses 77 occurred in South East Queensland and four in Regional Queensland. Level crossing near misses can cause service disruptions, trauma for traincrew, station staff and first responders directly impacted by an incident, injury and in the most tragic cases, death.

Research has shown the most common reasons pedestrians undertook unsafe behaviour at level crossings were impatience, overconfidence, influence of others, distraction, and inattention.

The Stay Level Headed at Level Crossings campaign aims to combat these risk-taking behaviours by teaching pedestrians to remain calm, be patient and empowering the audience to make good decisions for themselves.

This campaign was launched during Rail Safety Week 2021. 

Watch Gary explain how you have to stay level headed at pedestrian level crossings.

CCTV cameras capture pedestrians taking unnecessary risks at level crossings.