Motorist 'gambles with life' in near-miss with freight train

QUEENSLAND Rail is shocked by the actions of a motorist who gambled with their life at a railway crossing in Chinchilla, missing a freight train by just five metres.

Queensland Rail acting chief executive officer Jim Benstead said the near miss was one of the worst he had come across.

"The driver of a B-Double truck ignored the railway crossing flashing lights and signage, and came within only five metres, or less than a second, from being hit by a freight train," Mr Benstead said.

"The trailer of the B-Double was so close, the driver of the train was able to identify the cargo of sheep it was carrying had all recently been shorn," he said.

"A freight train can take kilometres to stop - drivers can't swerve or avoid motorists so if there's a collision, the car, truck or pedestrian will come off second best.

"Last year, there were 400 near misses in Queensland, including 71 in the South-West region, which was an increase by 33 per cent on the previous year, despite a 15% fall in incidents across the state.

"South-West Queensland motorists need to pay greater attention at level crossings and stop risking their lives and the lives of traincrew, just to save a few minutes.

"Near misses can have a severe affect on train crew, who can suffer from long lasting trauma following an incident.

"We are doing everything we can to save lives, we ask motorists and pedestrians play their part and simply follow the rules - obey the signs and signals at level crossings," Mr Benstead said.

"There is no excuse for motorists who continue to risk their lives in front of trains.

"Our message is simple - don't gamble with your life at level crossings."



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