Shocking security footage has been released showing a string of dangerous close-calls and terrifying near misses around railway level crossings in NSW.
Security cameras at Albion Park railway station captured the heart-stopping moment an oncoming train was forced to suddenly stop to avoid hitting a trespasser on the tracks earlier this year.
Bizarrely, the reckless pedestrian is seen gesturing toward the train as it comes to a grinding halt before casually crossing the railway line, where a large sign is displayed warning “do not cross while lights are displayed.”
83 collisions between trains and cars since 2008
30 per cent of collisions occur in 100km/h speed zones
Safety upgrades being introduced at crossings
In a separate incident at Woonona in April, a woman was caught ignoring the flashing lights while casually crossing the tracks just moments before a freight train came flying through.
But it’s not just commuters and pedestrians risking their lives, CCTV also captured a driver at Kembla Grange, who became trapped on the inside of a railroad crossing after failing to slow down in time.
Shocking CCTV released to keep safety on track
The alarming footage aims to remind drivers and pedestrians to take more care, as part of National Rail Safety Week.
Between July 2008 and May this year, there have been 83 collisions between trains and cars at level crossings in NSW, resulting in 10 deaths and 13 people seriously injured.
“The reckless behaviour by both drivers and pedestrians in this footage is very concerning — they’re not only risking their own lives, but spare a thought for the train driver, who very easily could have had his life changed forever,” Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said
“You might think you are saving yourself some time, but as you can see in some of the security camera footage, an oncoming train with no way of stopping could be just seconds away.”
How is the government making railroad crossings safer?
More than 30 per cent of the collisions at railroad crossings happened where the speed limit was 100km/h or greater.
Speed limits near crossings at 28 locations, including Orange, Albury and Dubbo, have already been slashed to 80km/h with the government looking to reduce speeds at another 82 spots over the coming months.
“The reduced speed limits increase safety by allowing drivers more time to react and stop, mitigating the likelihood of crashes. This is especially important for heavy vehicles, which need more time to stop due to their size,” Mr Toole said.
“These reduced speed limits will work in combination with other safety upgrades such as high intensity LED lights, bells, and retro-reflective boom gates which have been installed at 58 level crossings so far and a further 29 over the next 2 years.”
Transport for NSW is also gearing up to trial a new system, which will contain ground-breaking train detection technology and active level crossing controls such as flashing lights, bells, and boom gates to further increase safety.
“There’s no doubt technology will help us drive smart solutions to improving safety at level crossings into the future, allowing us to upgrade more crossings faster, particularly in more isolated areas," Mr Toole said.
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