Queensland Rail issued safety warning for South-West Queensland motorists

Published on : Thursday, December 5, 2013

QUEENSLAND’S BUSIEST RAILWAYQueensland Rail recently issued a stern warning to motorists in South-West Queensland after multiple near misses in the region in the last week, the most recent being an incident at Gowrie, when a motor vehicle avoided colliding with a freight train by about 50 metres.

The near miss occurred at the Gowrie Junction Road railway crossing, when the driver of a Holden Commodore utility overtook cars stopped at the crossing, ignored the railway crossing flashing lights and signage, and drove through the crossing in front of an oncoming freight train.

Queensland Rail Executive General Manager Safety Greg Ford was alarmed the near miss at Gowrie came after similar dangerous incidents last week at Chinchilla and at Dalby.

“On Friday (29 November), a near miss occurred at the Cemetery Road railway crossing in Chinchilla, after a Toyota Landcruiser utility reportedly drove through the give way signs in front of a freight train, avoiding a collision by just 10 metres,” Mr Ford said.

“The next day (30 November), the driver of another utility vehicle reportedly ignored the flashing lights and signage at the Cunningham Street railway crossing in Dalby, resulting in a near miss between the vehicle and a freight train of about 30 metres.

“A collision with a freight train could have potentially deadly consequences, and it is deeply concerning three motorists in the South-West have gambled with their lives at railway crossings in less than a week.

“The difference between a near miss and multiple fatalities can be as little as a fraction of a second, and we cannot believe motorists in the region continue to gamble with their lives, and the lives of others, at railway crossings just to save time.

“In the last financial year, there were 351 reported near misses at railway crossings across the Queensland Rail network, with 65 of these occurring in South-West Queensland.
“There is no excuse for motorists across the South-West and Darling Downs region to break the law at railway crossings, endangering themselves, traincrew and other road users.

 
“A freight train moving at 60 or 80 km/h can take kilometres to stop – the drivers can’t swerve or avoid motorists so if there’s a collision, the car, truck or pedestrian will come off second best.

 
“Even if a collision is avoided, a near miss can be highly traumatic for train drivers and leaves many of them with sickening nightmares and flashbacks which can last for years.”
Queensland Rail has reported these incidents to police.

 

 

source: Queensland Rail

 

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