Queensland Minister for Transport Scott Emerson
Queensland Minister for Main Roads Scott Emerson
Train Crossing Gamble Not Worth The Risk
Victor P Taffa
The Queensland Government has warned it is only a matter of time until a pedestrian dies ignoring the protection at level crossings in South East Queensland.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said he was shocked to see recent footage highlighting the deplorable behaviour which is occurring nearly every day across the rail network.
“Every crossing throughout the city network has boom gates and flashing lights, which are there for the protection of pedestrians.” Mr. Emerson said.
“The alarming reality is that some pedestrians are not getting the message and are continuing to take on trains whether it’s by pushing through the pedestrian gates, or racing a train as the boom gates are lowering.”
“I was horrified to see one example, captured by CCTV cameras at Deagon station, when students foolishly risked their lives at the level crossing, resulting in a very near miss.”
“These children avoided a collision by seconds, when they pushed through pedestrian gates and rushed across the tracks in front of a train travelling at approximately 65 km/h.”Mr. Emerson said.
Queensland Rail CEO Jim Benstead said train drivers and station staff had raised concerns about the number of people not following the rules around train stations.
“These are examples of what Queensland Rail train drivers and guards are seeing more and more often pedestrians racing across train tracks and playing Russian roulette with their lives.” Mr. Benstead said.
“We’ve had enough with pedestrians telling us they know better, they know the timetable and they can predict when it’s safe to cross.”
In another incident at Wulkuraka, near Ipswich, a young man kicked open the pedestrian gate in an attempt to cross the tracks. Luckily the man and the two pedestrians who followed him were only scared, not killed, avoiding a collision by just seconds.
On-train footage from an incident at Albion where a person ran across the tracks in front of a train, shows just how long it takes for a train to stop once the emergency brakes are applied.
In 2011, there were 472 near miss incidents at level crossings predominantly in the south east corner.