Too many people "playing Russian roulette with trains"

JUST IN TIME: Drivers stop just short of disaster at Coopers Plains, the worst incident hotspot on the QR city network. Ipswich residents are urged to take care during the school holidays.
JUST IN TIME: Drivers stop just short of disaster at Coopers Plains, the worst incident hotspot on the QR city network. Ipswich residents are urged to take care during the school holidays. Contributed

WHILE Ipswich has been getting the message to stay safe around level crossings, too many people are still gambling with their lives, according to Transport Minister Scott Emerson.

Mr Emerson yesterday urged people to stay safe around level crossings over the school holidays.

There were nine near misses on level crossings on the Ipswich line last year, down from 13 in 2012.

However, no Ipswich line stations were identified by QR as particular hotspots for near misses.

A single crossing in Coopers Plains has had more near misses than in Ipswich over each of the past two years.

The Boundary Rd level crossing on the Beenleigh line, just south of the Coopers Plains Station, again topped the list of near miss hotspots with 16 incidents last year and 17 in 2012.

The Wacol level crossing topped the list on the Ipswich line with three near misses last year and six the year before.

Level crossings on Brisbane Rd, Bundamba and River Rd, Redbank both had two near misses last year.

QR train driver Shaun Boland said someone running a level crossing with a train approaching was traumatic the train staff as well as dangerous for drivers or pedestrians.

"They (accidents) impact very heavily on everybody. It's something you never forget," Mr Boland said.

"And the worst situations always seem at the forefront of your mind when you run through that section of track again and again each day."

Mr Emerson said people were risking their lives by trying to save a few seconds on their commute.

"I'm urging people please be safe around our level crossings," he said. "I want to see no one taking their lives at risk, playing Russian roulette with trains.

"They are so lucky to be alive today.

"If not for a matter of seconds they could have been killed or very badly injured.

"You wonder why people put their lives at risk.

"They must be trying to save a couple of seconds to get from A to B."

Mr Emerson said while there were fines in place for those who illegally went through level crossings, they were risking much more.

"The reality is they are going to pay a much higher price if they get hit by a train," he said.

Close Calls in 2013

Incidents on Ipswich line:

  • 3 at Wacol
  • 2 at Brisbane Rd, Bundamba
  • 2 at River Rd, Redbank
  • QR's worst hotspot
  • 16 at Coopers Plains Station

Topics:  railway crossings scott emerson

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