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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news