Published on : Monday, December 23, 2013
Queensland Rail has issued a Christmas safety reminder to motorists and pedestrians across the state, pleading with people to stay focused at railway crossings and make sure their holiday break is festive not fatal.
Queensland Rail Executive General Manager Safety Greg Ford said in the last financial year there were 199 near misses at railway crossings in South East Queensland and 152 near misses across the rest of the state.
“While we’ve seen a decrease in incidents across the majority of regions since the launch of our ‘Crosses’ campaign, any near miss on our network is one too many and we are reminding motorists and pedestrians to be vigilant at railway crossings while out and about over the festive season,” Mr Ford said.
“Christmas is a time when people traditionally head off in the car for a summer getaway or to visit family, so we’re urging drivers to look out for railway crossings, especially if they’re driving through unfamiliar towns.
“Every railway crossing on our network has some form of protection, whether it’s boom gates, flashing lights or signage, all must be obeyed in line with the law.
“Motorists heading out to regional areas need to be aware that not all railway crossings are the same and the one ahead may not necessarily have boom gates so they need to keep a look out for flashing lights or road signs.
“It’s easy to get distracted or be in a hurry while travelling, but gambling with your life near train tracks and railway crossings is just not worth it.
“People who take on a train are not only endangering their own life, but are also risking the lives of others, including traincrew and customers onboard the train, as well as other motorists and pedestrians.
“Even if no one is injured, near misses can be extremely traumatic for train drivers, and can leave many of them with horrible flashbacks which can last a lifetime.
Mr Ford said Queensland Rail aimed to be the safest railway in Australia and focussed on engineering, innovation, education and enforcement to improve safety at railway crossings.
“We have recently started trialling two different innovative railway crossing warning systems at locations in South West Queensland and North Queensland, with a third trial to be switched on in the new year.
“We are doing everything we can to keep people safe on our network but we need people to play their part by keeping the ‘Crosses’ safety message front of mind and obeying the signs and signals at railway crossings.
“We want everyone to have a safe and merry Christmas and the message is clear – ‘don’t gamble with your life at level crossings’”.
Breakdown of reported railway crossing near misses on the Queensland Rail network:
Near miss incidents on the Queensland Rail network 2011-12 2012-13
South East Queensland 321 199
Gympie / Sunshine Coast 7 4
Wide Bay 6 5
Central Queensland 14 5
Mackay / Whitsunday 8 10
North Queensland 37 33
Far North Queensland / Tablelands 16 16
South West Queensland
Central West Queensland 8 3
North West Queensland 3 11
TOTAL 489 351
Source:- Queensland Rail
Tags: Railway News