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Author Topic: Media Release 1 January 2009 release of previous media dated 1 Dec 2008.  (Read 2005 times)

Online ozbob

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Media Release  1 January 2009 release of previous media dated 1 Dec 2008.

Yet another fatal level crossing crash today in North Queensland.  Is it not time that real action was implemented, like, today?

1st December 2008: Queensland:  Northern rail line reopens, proactive actions are needed today

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has called for the authorities to introduce an emergency interim measure requiring all heavy vehicles to stop at all railway level crossings until 'safe' crossings can be identified and these upgraded for limited speed direct road crossing.  A temporary speed restriction has been placed around the Rungoo crossing.  What about the other rail crossings in Queensland?  Has anything really changed?

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"Vague promises of road overpasses and boom gates are not going to make safe the dangerous level crossings on our railway network now, today.  As an emergency interim measure we call on the Queensland Government to require all heavy vehicles; buses and trucks, to stop  at all railway level crossings and then for drivers to look and listen for trains approaching from either direction and to cross only when it is clearly safe to do so.  This uniform requirement should remain in place until 'safe' crossings, those with active protection, fail safe signaling, and warning signs/lights 300-400 metres before the crossings as appropriate, can be identified.  These crossings should have permanent crossing road speed limits as a further layer of safety."

"Other jurisdictions implement these safety procedures as routine (1,2).  Is it not time that rail crew, passengers and road users are afforded some common sense protection?  There is a clear duty of care issue here."

"Enforcement of road rules at level crossings must become pro-active.  Cameras should be fitted on busy crossings to identify road users who flout the rules.  Substantial fines and suspensions must be put in place."

"There was a recommendation arising out of the school bus and train crash near Dalby earlier this year.  The recommendation was that all school buses be required to stop at all unprotected railway crossings (3).  Why hasn't that recommendation been put in place?"

"For other crossings not identified as 'safe' an absolute requirement for heavy vehicles to stop is essential.  Have a look at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and their bulletin on recent level crossing crashes (4). You will then understand the urgent basis of this request."

References:

1.  http://www.dot.state.wi.us/safety/motorist/railcrossings/rules.htm
2.  http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/roadcode/about-driving/giving-way-at-railway-level-crossings.html
3.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/16/2393501.htm?site=southqld
4.  http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2008/pdf/rail_bulletin.pdf

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org

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