Queensland Rail has criticised an irresponsible motorist following a near miss in Dalby on Friday morning (11 May), when a the driver of a ute ignored level crossing protection and narrowly avoided a collision with a track machine vehicle.
The incident occurred at the Nicholson Street level crossing in Dalby, the same location where a motorist narrowly avoided serious injury after colliding with a freight train in January.
Queensland Rail Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Benstead said this morning’s incident occurred when the driver of a white Toyota ute unashamedly ignored the signage and flashing lights at the crossing, and avoided a collision by less than 10 metres.
“Not only is it against the law to disregard level crossing protection, it’s simply not worth risking your life – this particular motorist drove straight in front of an on-track machine, for the sake of saving a couple of minutes,” Mr Benstead said.
“This level crossing is protected by flashing lights and reports from the site indicate they were in operation at the time of the incident.
“Despite a series of warnings about the potentially deadly consequences, motorists continue to drive through or around boom gates, ignore flashing lights or signs, and pedestrians continue to risk their lives crossing tracks in front of trains.
“There have been a series of near misses in the South-West this year, including a serious collision at the Nicolson Street level crossing in Dalby – we’re fed up with motorists in the region who continue to dice with death, despite the warnings.
“We don’t know why people in the South-West continue to risk their lives by ignoring boom gates, flashing lights or signage, just to save a couple of minutes,” Mr Benstead said.
“I am pleading with motorists to obey the law, it should not take a fatality in the region for the message to get through.
“There is no excuse for trying to beat a train - the train can’t swerve or avoid motorists so if there’s a collision, the car, truck or pedestrian will come off second best. The difference between a near miss and a fatality can be a split second.
“Every crossing on the Queensland Rail network has some form of protection, but this motorist in Dalby still decided to run the gauntlet.”
Mr Benstead said road users needed to be aware that one mistake around a level crossing could be fatal.
The details of the incident have been passed on to Police who are investigating.