Queensland Rail has launched a campaign to promote safety around level crossings.

Hundreds of Queensland Rail staff and their families took over Brisbane’s CBD, with the aim of reducing unnecessary deaths on our rail lines.

Isobel Roe reports.

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Seven-hundred-and-two volunteers in red filled King George Square, representing each near accident at a level crossing last year that could have ended fatally.

The Queensland Rail campaign is appealing to motorists and pedestrians to slow down, and take care.

Paul Scurrah, QR CEO: “This is about motorists being aware that the flashing lights, the boomgates, are not there for decoration, they’re there for a purpose and that purpose is to save their lives and to keep the rail network safe.”

Volunteers held up the details of each near miss with a train, Queensland Rail officials say some people still don’t get the message.

Robert Dow, Rail Keep on Track Spokesman: “I observed some people in safety clothing actually run in front of a train with the gates down and the lights flashing.”

Impatient motorists are driving through falling boom gates, despite the obvious warning signs.

The dangers involved in level crossings are real. Last year, two train drivers and one truck driver lost their lives in tragic, but avoidable, accidents.

Paul Scurrah, QR CEO : “On New Years day in 2009, a garbage truck driver decided to roll the dice as well and drive through a level crossing in Innisfail in front of the Sunlander. Sadly he didn’t live.”

Queensland Rail will work to increase the audibility of approaching trains as well as enforcing strict penalties for offenders trying to dodge them.

Robert Dow, Rail Keep on Track Spokesman: “People driving around boomgates we believe should have their license suspended for life.”

Families say there’s just too much to lose.

Isobel Roe, QUT News.