Close call at rail crossing near Beecher sparks safety plea

THE only blood on the tracks Queensland Rail wants is the timeless Bob Dylan album.

That's the message coming loud and clear, after yet another close call at a local level crossing which could have easily ended in disaster.

Aurizon vice-president of safety, health and environment Neil Backer said the message about the potential for tragedy when trying to outrun trains was not sinking in, after a near-miss on the Moura line, near Beecher.

A 4WD towing a boat tried to out-run an oncoming train at the level crossing on Jefferis Rd, Beecher at 5pm last Saturday, leaving Mr Backer dumbfounded.

"It's hard to believe, with all the safety campaigns that we run in relation to the potential dangers of level crossings, that people are still willing to risk their lives for the sake of saving a few seconds," he said.

"We spend a lot of time urging people to 'stop, look, listen and think' when they approach a level crossing and yet it seems some people think they are invincible."

A Queensland Rail spokeswoman echoed his sentiments after a pedestrian's near-miss at a level crossing in Toowoomba this week.

QR acting general manager of safety Jamie-Lee Crawford said people were gambling with their lives when they took on trains.

"A freight train moving at 60 or 80kmh can take kilometres to stop," she said.

"Drivers can't swerve to avoid pedestrians or motorists so if there's a collision, you're at a high risk of serious or fatal injury.

"Pedestrians and motorists need to pay greater attention at railway crossings and stop risking their lives just to save a few minutes."

The close shaves came as representatives of more than 40 organisations gathered in Melbourne to discuss making level crossings safer.

TrackSAFE director Bryan Nye said Australia, owner of the world's sixth-largest rail network, had about 70 level crossing collisions a year.

Mr Backer said it wasn't only their own lives people affected when they took on moving trains.

"Trying to outrun a train to beat it through a level crossing is not only life threatening but is very traumatic for the train drivers," he said.



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