New boomgate safety measure introduced
QUEENSLAND Rail will introduce further measures to tackle boomgate strikes with new procedures allowing trains to continue to operate.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said Queensland Rail had listened to passengers' frustration, and from Monday (March 10) would introduce a new procedure at railway crossings across the state to keep trains moving when these incidents occurred.
"From Monday, if a motorist strikes a boomgate, trains will be directed to safely pass through the railway crossing at a restricted speed of 5km per hour provided all other signs and signals are operational," Mr Emerson said.
"This procedure has been adopted from the Australian Network Rules and Procedures and follows similar successful implementations in other states around the country.
"Through better planning and better infrastructure we are delivering flyovers at Robinson Rd, Geebung and Telegraph Rd, Bracken Ridge and have increased the penalties for crashing into boomgates.
"This is a sensible step that will keep passengers moving and limit the knock-on delays to the network while repair crews and traffic control arrive on scene."
In 2013, there were 178 incidents where vehicles collided with boomgates and other protective infrastructure at railway crossings. So far this year, there have been 35 boomgate strikes reported throughout Queensland.
Mr Emerson said on the first day of the rollout of new timetables on January 20, a motorist struck a boomgate near Fruit Grove station on the Beenleigh line, which caused 179 trains to run late and cost commuters more than 69 hours of lost time.
"I'm pleading with motorists to be vigilant at railway crossings and obey all signs and signals," he said.
"Motorists who damage Queensland Rail infrastructure can be fined up to $8800 and since July 2013 we have pursued costs for 49 incidents and recovered more than $220,000 that would otherwise be borne by taxpayers."