WHEN it comes to motorists and level crossings, you can't be too careful.
In the 2010/2011 financial year there were 12 collisions between trains and motor vehicles or persons at level crossings in Queensland, and 170 motor vehicle collisions with infrastructure at level crossings.
There were also 613 near miss incidents at level crossings, which the majority occuring in the south east corner, which is a 15% reduction compared to the previous year, a Queensland Rail Spokesperson said.
The risk of serious injury or death from level crossing incidents involving pedestrians or vehicles is severe, which is why Queensland Rail has invested heavily in education, engineering upgrades, and work closely with the police on enforcement.
"These efforts have resulted in a reduction in incidents, but any near miss is one too many," the spokesperson said.
The time taken for a train to clear a level crossing depends on several factors including the length of the train and the speed at which it's travelling, the spokesperson said.
"However, we would say this: Trying to save a few minutes by ignoring the signs and signals at a level crossing is simply not worth the risk - waiting could cost you a couple of minutes, but not waiting could cost you your life," the spokesperson said.
"Our train drivers are constantly astounded that some motorists will wait five minutes to pick up a hamburger, but will not wait for a train to pass."
The latest statistics also show a 33% reduction of near miss incidents involving motorists, following a concerted campaign of education and enforcement measures.
"We ask motorists and pedestrians play their part and simply follow the rules - obey the signs and signals at level crossings," the spokesperson said.
For more information www.queenslandrail.com.au.