In 2012 there were 400 near misses at Queensland railway crossings. While these statistics are improving, Queenslanders continue to risk their lives across our rail network.
Last year 243 motorists and 157 pedestrians were nearly hit by trains, while there were 10 collisions between vehicles and trains.
Through our Railsmart Community Education Program, Queensland Rail aims to positively influence the attitudes and behaviours of school students and communities to act safely at railway stations and level crossings.
The program is aimed at preparatory, primary and high schools, alternate learning centres, regional shows, youth groups, transport companies and a vast array of community organisations and events.
In the 2011-2012 financial year, Community Education Officers presented to over 140, 000 students across more than 540 Queensland schools.
For more information about safety across our rail network, or for education tools and resources, click here.
Community Education in 2012
Regional Queensland visits
In 2012, there were 177 reported incidents of near misses at railway crossings in regional Queensland. As a direct response to this ongoing safety issue, the Community Education team visited a number of regional communities and schools throughout the year including:
- Rockhampton and Gladstone regions
- Toowoomba, Dalby, Oakey and Locker Valley
- Chinchilla, Roma and Mitchell
- Gympie and Maryborough.
North Queensland road show
Throughout June and July 2012, Community Education Officers toured a crashed car static display around North Queensland to show the damaging results which could occur when drivers act unsafely at a level crossing.
The display was a feature at seven regional shows including Mackay, Proserpine, Bowen, Ayr, Innisfail, Cairns and the Townsville V8 Supercars and allowed the team to engage and promote rail safety with not only students, but parents, adults, agricultural and mining support groups, and other road users as well.
Above: Queensland Rail presents to students at Goovigen State School in North Queensland
Jonathan Beninca community education campaign
As a direct response to safety issues such as trespass, objects thrown at trains, graffiti and vandalism in both South East and regional Queensland, the Community Education team enlisted Sydney rail accident survivor Jonathan Beninca to front a rail safety education campaign.
The campaign aimed to educate students of the risks and consequences of acting unsafely in the rail corridor and involved presentations to:
Above: Jonathan Beninca shares his inspirational story with students from Radiant Life College in Innisfail
- 2928 students across ten schools in regional Queensland including Ingham, Cardwell, Tully, Innisfail Babinda and Gordonvale.
- 7667 students at schools located along the Beenleigh and Gold Coast lines and in close proximity to Zillmere, Central, Toombul, Ferny Grove and Burpengary stations.
Rail safety orientation days
Approximately 356 students attended one of four Rail Safety Days in 2012. The event provides an opportunity for newly arrived migrants to Australia and individuals with a disability to familiarise themselves with Queensland Rail services and facilities and gain confidence to travel independently on the rail network.
This unique event allows attendees to explore a stationary train and its features in a controlled environment with expert speakers and demonstrations. Community Education Officers work together with Transit Officers and station staff to deliver a range of topics including:
Above: Attendees of the Kidsafe Day at King George Square in Brisbane learn about the importance of rail safety.
- Rail safety
- Train etiquette
- Orientation of Queensland Rail features and services
- The importance of choice and the consequences of unsafe behaviour
- How to use the network.
Throughout 2012 the team also engaged thousands of attendees and showcased level crossing and other safety displays at various events including:
- Brisbane Welcomes International Students at King George Square
- Queensland University of Technology Orientation Week
- Out of the Box Festival program at QPAC
- Gold Coast and Ipswich V8 Supercars
- Brisbane Ekka
- Nambour Show
- Kidsafe Day.