A Queensland truck driver will be investigated following a near miss with a coal train.
A QR coal train was forced to stop suddenly after the truck ploughed through a closed rail crossing, causing damage to the lowered boom gates, the CQ News reports.
Craig Walker, QR general manager coal south, told CQ News that people need to take safety at rail crossings seriously, before someone is killed.
“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 maybe a few seconds,” Walker 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 by trying to outrun our freight trains.”
There have been a number of coal train accidents this year, where people or vehicles try to cross the tracks ahead of the train.
In June, a truck crashed into a coal at a rail crossing, with the driver claiming he did not see the train.
A young man broke his back after trying to board a moving coal train outside of Wollongong, and a man was killed in the Hunter Valley when he was hit after running along the tracks ahead of an empty coal train.
Coal trains are often hundreds of metres in length and can take up to a full kilometre to stop.
“Our drivers are very good at their job, but it’s a matter of physics – they can’t turn the train and they can’t stop it suddenly.
“While most near misses end without a collision, our crews are left with the sickening memory of nearly having struck a car or truck on the tracks.”