Incidents bring home crucial safety message

QR is reinforcing the crucial safety message for people not to risk their lives around level crossings and rail corridors following a series of incidents.

The warning comes after a vehicle struck a boom gate at Beaudesert Road at Rocklea, in Brisbane’s south, in the lead up to afternoon peak hour period on Thursday February 14.

The boom gate was knocked off its foundation and passenger services were severely disrupted, with Beenleigh and Gold Coast trains delayed by up to half an hour.

Meanwhile, a car was believed to have collided with a loaded coal train near Sugar Shed Road level crossing in the Mackay region shortly before 10pm on Sunday January 27.

The flashing lights at this level crossing were operating correctly at the time.

QR CEO Lance Hockridge says while it was lucky no one was injured during both incidents, the consequences could have been far worse.

“We are appealing for people to take special care and obey all traffic signals when they approach level crossings,” he says.

“We have had a lot of wet weather lately and people have to be more vigilant than ever.”

“Motorists and pedestrians need to be aware that the same rules apply at rail level crossings as normal road intersections and they need to obey the road rules for their own, and the rail operator’s, safety.”

Hockridge says although the number of level crossing collisions across Queensland has dropped about 30 per cent over the last decade, one collision is one too many.

“On average in Queensland there are 17 needless collisions a year between a road user and a train at rail level crossings and half of these incidents happen at protected level crossings that have flashing lights, boom gates or both,” Hockridge says.

He also urges the public not to trespass on rail corridors and only use designated safe crossing points.

“Too many times there are near misses because pedestrians take short cuts, or blatantly disregard warning signs and safety infrastructure,” he says.

“The safety of QR staff and our drivers in particular is also at risk because of reckless behaviour near the tracks.”

“People should consider the impact on our staff both in terms of injury and trauma of accidents and near misses.”

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