Alarming increase in CQ level crossing incidents
AUSTRALIA'S largest rail-based transport company has recorded a 20 per cent increase in dangerous level crossing incidents across its central Queensland Coal Network over the past year.
Aurizon revealed almost 50 near misses occurred in central Queensland during that time prompting renewed calls for rail safety in the midst of National Rail Safety Week.
Aurizon managing director and CEO Andrew Harding said rail safety was everybody's responsibility and was calling on all motorists to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and train drivers first.
"Our train drivers operating on the CQCN continue to see high levels of reckless behaviour at level crossings," Mr Harding said.
"We are urging people in all communities to stop taking risks with their lives and the lives of our drivers. If people continue to take risks, it's only a matter of time before the outcome is fatal.
"While it's fortunate that a collision hasn't occurred, people need to understand that for every near miss there is a very real and emotional impact for our drivers and their families.
"When our drivers see a vehicle or a person on the tracks, they can't simply stop or swerve to miss. Even when the emergency brakes are applied, a fully loaded train can take two kilometres to stop, and the outcome can be devastating."
Aurizon has partnered with TrackSAFE and the Queensland Government on a series of billboards to share their rail safety message.
The billboards are located on the Dawson and Bruce highways in CQ with a further two in southeast Queensland.
"Our message to the community remains the same: Stop. Look. Listen and Think. Stay Off The Tracks," Mr Harding said.
Last year, a motorist narrowly avoided certain death after ignoring flashing lights at a level crossing on Jefferis Rd in Beecher.
Video footage (pictured) shows the driver less than five seconds away from being crushed by a coal train.
In a separate incident, footage shows a truck hitting the overhead electrical rail lines at a Blackwater level crossing, sparking a fire and damaging rail infrastructure.