Life saving $1M Qld rail crossing trial

The Newman Government has boosted its commitment to improving safety at rail level crossings with an additional $1 million injected into technology trials.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said new radio and solar-powered technology would be trialled across five sites in Queensland by mid-2013.

“This additional boost in funds will let us trial all three rail crossing technologies,” Mr Emerson said.

“The three separate types of technology will be trialled at open level crossings located near Gatton, Rosewood, Dalby and between Townsville and Charters Towers.

“The solar-powered lighting system to be trialled near Gatton and Rosewood will warn motorists of approaching trains by activating flashing lights.

“At the other sites, there will be two different radio break-in systems trialled.

“One system wirelessly detects the presence of trains and alerts the driver through an announcement via the radio as well as a visual warning while the other system provides an auditory warning only.

“These technologies have the ability to actively alert motorists to the presence of oncoming trains at level crossings and potentially reduce the risk of collisions.

“These sites are on top of a trial already undertaken near Ingham that tested valet in-road lights that turn on as a train approaches.

“As we have seen a number of times this year already, a level crossing collision could cause service disruptions, property damage, injuries and in the most tragic cases, fatalities.

“We hope these trials will help determine what systems are most effective in eliminating collisions, reducing the number of near-misses and minimising the impact of all incidents which occur.

“We still need motorists and pedestrians to do their part and obey the signs and signals to avoid any accidents.”

In 2012, there were 400 reported near misses on the Queensland Rail network, 223 of which occurred in south east Queensland and 177 of which occurred in regional Queensland

Railnet Safety Systems, La Trobe University and NFA Innovations were shortlisted in September and have been successfully awarded the contracts.

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