Tag Archives: Queensland

Innisfail, QLD: Truck driver not guilty in fatal crossing collision

11 Mar

The driver of a truck that was struck by a passenger train with fatal consequences in 2008 has been found not guilty of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death after a three-day trail in the Innisfail District Court. Giving evidence the 69-year-old experienced truck driver repeatedly told the court the warning lights at the crossing weren’t flashing when he approached it; while prosecution witnesses gave evidence saying they were functioning. The level crossing has since been replaced with an overpass.

Chinchilla, QLD: Residents shocked by close call statistics

10 Jul

Locally, the level crossing that is perceived to have the worst safety record in Chinchilla is to be found on Wambo Street, Indeed, activists have been calling for an upgrade. However, the 2013 close call statistics show a different picture with the passive crossing on Cemetery Road topping the list with seven events compared with two in 2012. the crossing on Wambo Street recorded two close-calls in both 2012 and 2013.

The view locally is that the incidence of close calls is a function of the instruction to motorists to give way rather than to stop. This, it is argued, gives the motorist a false sense of security when compared with the definitive instruction associated with a stop sign.

Beecher, Queensland: Let’s tow a boat and race the train

18 Mar

A motorist driving a four-wheel drive vehicle and towing a boat on its trailer has caused rail freight company, to lambast the driver of the road vehicle for his stupidity in trying to race a train to the Jefferies Road level crossing in Beecher. The incident occurred on March 15th, 2014.

The fact that the motorist saw fit to cross when the stop lights were flashing and showed no inclination to stop despite towing a boat on its trailer suggests that for some motorists the intense nature of the education campaigns are still, to an extent, falling on deaf ears.

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.

Banyo, Queensland: Head-end camera images highlight risk of grounding

30 Nov

Banyo collision, September 14th, 2012. Source 7 News

Banyo collision, September 14th, 2012. Source 7 News

14 months after the train-truck collision on the St Vincent’s Road level crossing in Banyo, a northern suburb of Brisbane, head-end camera images from a train stopped at the adjacent station show the collision of a train travelling in the opposite direction with a grounded low-loader.

The head-end camera images of the September 14th, 2012 collision first shown on 7 News (http://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/20076610/horror-train-collision/) show the grounded low-loader carrying a 38 tonne transformer, the efforts of a truck driver and another person trying to disentangle the stranded truck from a lowered level crossing barrier and then the collision itself. The train driver, truck driver and the witness who assisted the truck driver were all lucky to escape with their lives given the nature of the collision.

Grounding of road vehicles, especially those which are long and / or low-loaders remains a world-wide issue that can have catastrophic consequences. While the rail and highways authorities working together can improve the profile of highways over level crossings, a key risk control is for haulage and own-account truck operators conveying abnormal loads to properly plan the route they are to take and ensure that their drivers adhere to routes cleared for the journey in question. This is not just a public roads issue as there are the road vehicles and farm equipment using private level crossings to consider as well.

The investigation into this collision conducted by the Queensland Transport and Main Roads Department found the driver of the truck did not have the correct permit allowing him to use the St Vincent’s Road level crossing. The “vertical geometry” of this level crossing was not suitable for low-loader trailers, which was the immediate cause of the grounding of the low-loader.

Brisbane, Queensland: Long-awaited grade separation will be completed in 2014

23 Oct

Confirmation that the AUD82 million project to grade-separate the notorious Telegraph Road level crossing in the Brisbane suburb of Bracken Ridge has been given to the city planners. Work began on-site in August 2013 after a gestation stretching back more than five years, with completion now slated for late 2014.

The crossing has been the location of more than 70 incidents since consultation on grade-separating the level crossing began in 2008. It is not only safety incidents but also the traffic congestion associated with the level crossing which is used by more than 16,000 road vehicles. This congestion can, at peak times, equate to a road vehicle being delayed for 15 minutes.

The project which was approved in 2012 is funded equally by the city and state.

Queensland: Level crossing new technology trial gets underway

30 Sep

Scott Emerson MP, Queensland's Transport and Main Roads Minister

Scott Emerson MP, Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads Minister

New level crossing technology that will warn motorists of approaching trains will be switched on this week at two locations in the north of Queensland locations. This is the latest stage in a state government led initiative to reduce the harm arising at level crossings.

Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads Minister, Scott Emerson, has said that the new “radio break-in” technology will be trialled at Calcium and Broughton, between Townsville and Charters Towers, to provide added warnings to motorists at railway crossings. The technology has been developed at La Trobe University to alert motorists if there is a train approaching the level crossing.

“The technology wirelessly detects the presence of motor vehicles in relation to trains and can broadcast a warning announcement through the vehicle’s radio, as well as displaying a visual warning through a unit fitted above the dashboard,” Emerson says.

“The devices were installed in 22 trains and 23 vehicles which regularly use railway crossings at Manton Quarry Road, Calcium and Gromac Quarry Access Road, Broughton.

“The trial will help determine its effectiveness and whether it can be rolled out to additional railway crossings in Queensland.”

The “radio break-in” technology is one of three new solutions being trialled as part of an AUD 2 million project to improve safety at railway crossings.

Two additional railway crossing safety trials will also start in the coming months to test other systems.

“A different type of “radio break-in” technology and a solar-powered railway crossing warning system will be trialled at locations in south west Queensland,” Emerson says.