In that time I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've been left alone to quest by freeps who saw me - and in all cases it was someone who knew who I was.
I have lost count of the number of times I've been killed in known creep quest zones by solo, duo, groups of creeps, many of them high ranks. I could name at least 4 BRGs known for camping quest spots/rooms. In the last week my Defiler has been killed in Tol quest room, Tir quest room, in Hoarhallow, at the Dwarves near the mine, at the slugs and even at the Hoarhallow poison spot. There is no reason for any freep (it's almost always BRGs) to be in those spots other than to gank questing lowbies.
When playing freep I never attacked a red badge creep who was obviously questing, unless they attacked me first. It seemed like common courtesy to me even before the current power imbalance. Sadly that convention no longer seems to apply to a generation of freeps who have only ever known ezy-mode, farming gameplay in landscape, instances and PvMP alike.
Just to be balanced though, I should also say that there was a time when I could happily gather quest items in Grothum without being bothered so long as I left alone any creeps passing by. Those days are also gone, except when I encounter a familiar old friend (so few left...) who simply /emotes and carries on.