Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


KiwiRail alarmed at spate of near-collisions

KiwiRail and the NZ Police are alarmed at a spate of near collisions between motorists and trains at level crossings around the country and are urging drivers to obey level crossing warnings and exercise patience at level crossings.

So far this year train drivers have reported 19 ‘near collision’ incidents at level crossings in which motorists ignored level crossing safety measures and crossed in front of approaching trains. 12 of these were at crossings protected by flashing lights and bells.

In four of these incidents motorists deliberately drove around other vehicles already stopped at the crossing in order to cross and in one the motorist had to swerve to avoid the train.

In other incident a car ignored flashing lights and bells and passed just 10 metres in front of the train.

“We are horrified to think motorists would deliberately put themselves, and any passengers they may have in such grave danger,’ says KiwiRail Chief Executive Jim Quinn. “There is no journey so important that it can’t wait a couple of minutes.”

“Trains are large and heavy and can be travelling faster that they appear and simply cannot stop quickly. There is nothing our train drivers can do when confronted with a situation like this other than to sound their horn, and hope for the best. It is a very distressing situation for them.

“We urge motorists to heed the level crossing alarms, never enter a crossing if they can see a train approaching, but be patient and wait for it to pass.

National rail safety charity TrackSAFE NZ (formerly the Chris Cairns Foundation) also urges the New Zealand public to exercise caution at level crossings.

“Unfortunately if people continue to engage in the reckless and impatient behaviour that we have already seen this year, then it is only a matter of time before we potentially have another tragedy on the railway.”

Ms Drayton says the figures also show that a disproportionate 63 percent of these near collisions occurred in the South Island, with five out of the 19 occurring on the railway line between Rolleston and Greymouth, and four on the railway line between Christchurch and Invercargill.

“We urge motorists in the South Island particularly to obey the warning signs at crossings, and never take the risk of trying to beat a train across the crossing. Trains travel faster than people think and research has proven that we cannot accurately judge the speed of an approaching train,” she says.

Where train drivers are able to get the registration details of vehicles these are passed on to the Police to follow up on, and the motorist involved can be prosecuted for their actions.

Level crossing alarms and signs are there for the safety of motorists and it is a traffic offence to ignore them says Inspector Mark Stables of the NZ Police.

“All level crossings have some protection. Whether the crossing has flashing lights and bells or a Give Way or Stop sign, motorists should approach and behave at level crossings in the same way as they would a road intersection.”

In 2013 KiwiRail recorded 107 near collisions with vehicles at level crossings. 43 percent of these occurred at crossings with flashing lights and bells operating and 40 percent at crossings with half arm barriers operating. The remaining 16 percent of near collisions occurred at crossings with either a give way or stop sign.

In 2012 there were 154 near collisions reported by locomotive engineers. 83 percent of these were at crossings with active protection.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Issue 49: Werewolf Weekender

Philip Matthews: From The Lost Continent
It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, had a couple of North Island screenings last year during the International Film Festival’s “Autumn Events” season, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

The Complicatist: Blue Eyed & Soulful
For a while in June, the top two singles on the US Billboard charts featured Iggy Azalea, an Australian model turned hip hop performer. To some, this may seem like just the latest chapter in a long saga of whites ripping off black culture, while enriching themselves in the process. Obviously, there’s some truth in the stereotype. Yet it can also obscure the positive collaborations – in jazz, soul music and hip hop – between musicians who treated each other as creative equals, race regardless. More>>

Satire: Carry On Captaining
Oh hello. Scanner Technician Davis. To what do I owe the pleasure?
You think we’re what?
Oh, pish. This vessel has been travelling along smoothly for generations – particularly smoothly in the last few years though I say so myself – and I happen to know we have never once been hit by an asteroid... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Detention, Community Work

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news