Queensland: Wilful misuse highlighted in study

8 Jan

Not wanting to miss a train and thrill-seeking by minors are both highlighted in a study by the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland which was funded by the Co-operative Research Centre for Rail Innovation, Queensland Rail and Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads and TruckSafe.

The study based on nearly 700 interviews explored pedestrian behaviours around level crossings and, in particular, reasons for intentionally breaking the rules for the safe use of level crossings.

While the largest number of cases of intentional misuse of level crossings related to adults not wanting to miss their train, often when travelling to work; a particular concern was the number of youths who were thrill seeking at level crossings.

Level crossing safety is a priority issue with Queensland Rail mounting major initiatives to improve behaviour around level crossings as well as investing in additional controls at level crossings where this can be justified. Likewise, the Queensland Government is committed to reducing the harm arising and has funded an AUD 250 million programme to improve level crossing safety, including the addition of more warning signs, road markings, flashing lights and barriers.

The need for continued focus on pedestrian behaviour is highlighted by the first fatality on a Queensland level crossing in 2014 having already occurred on the level crossing adjacent to Canon Hill railway station in Brisbane’s southern suburbs. In this case it has been reported that the intentional misuse was recorded on CCTV and that it shows the woman by-passing the already closed pedestrian gate to enter the railway as a precursor to being struck by a train.

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