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Author Topic: Article: Rail stats rebuffed  (Read 982 times)

Offline ozbob

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Article: Rail stats rebuffed
« on: January 22, 2009, 11:21:15 AM »
From the Townsville Bulletin click here!

Rail stats rebuffed

Quote
Rail stats rebuffed

LENDL RYAN

January 22nd, 2009

THE Rail Tram and Bus Union has hit out at Transport Minister John Mickel for using the wrong statistics to justify the lack of boom gates at railway crossings in the North.

Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) senior vice president Les Moffitt said only 11 per cent of accidents had occurred at crossings with boom gates as opposed to almost half of all accidents stated by Mr Mickel.

"While Minister Mickel has publicly stated that 50 percent of rail accidents in the last year occurred at crossings with boom gates, the correct figure is actually only 11 per cent," Mr Moffitt said.

"The RTBU believes that boom gates should be introduced at many crossings along with a host of other measures ranging from warning lights to by passes such as bridges and tunnels, as well as `rumble strips' ? similar to those used on the side of highways."

The union will host a meeting of all organisations involved in improving rail crossing safety in North Queensland on January 23 after lobbying the Premier and Transport Minister for a more comprehensive approach to addressing the problems.

It follows a meeting of the Queensland Rail (QR) Level Crossing Taskforce on January 12, which identified eight `critical' crossings where QR would spend $10 million in State Government funding on upgrades.

The taskforce of train drivers, safety experts and unions was formed after Townsville train drivers Richard Wetherell, 54, and Michael Smithers, 53, were killed at a level crossing at the Cardwell Range when their tilt-train collided with a semi-trailer on November 28.

On New Year's Day Innisfail garbage truck driver Terry Brown, 40, was killed instantly in a collision with the Sunlander passenger train at a level crossing near Innisfail.

In total, six deaths have occurred since June 2008 ? five of them in North Queensland.

RTBU Queensland state secretary Owen Doogan said it was now important to involve a wider group of stakeholders.

"An internal QR Task Force in itself is just not sufficient," Mr Doogan said.

"After a year of carnage on Queensland Rail crossings it will be a chance for key stakeholders to meet and discuss preliminary safety ideas developed by the taskforce.'

Mr Moffitt said the meeting on January 12 meeting honed numerous preliminary ideas for improving rail safety in eight critical areas of the state but needed more discussion.

"Now, we want to take those ideas to the relevant parties to hear their feedback," Mr Moffitt said.

"The recent fatalities on our rails are a disgrace and improving rail safety throughout Queensland needs to be priority number one for everyone involved with the industry."

Organisations invited to the meeting include the Department of Main Roads, Queensland Police, Queensland Transport, Transport Workers Union, RACQ, Queensland Trucking Association, Queensland Police Union and some local government authorities representing the eight critical areas.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Rail stats rebuffed
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 11:22:27 AM »
Pity one of the key stakeholders, the passengers are ignored ...

Hope it leads to some improvements.

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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