'I've seen a driver get cleaned up': Rocky train union leader
CRAIG Allen strongly believes that something needs to be done to improve the safety of our local rail crossings.
AS a branch organiser central district of the Rail Tram And Bus Union, Mr Allen said the safety of CQ's rail crossings was something his union had actively been involved in trying to fix for some time now.
In the wake of the tragic tilt train crash at a level crossing in 2008, he said the State Labor Government undertook a safety audit of all level crossings in the state (receiving input from their train drivers), with many crossings identified as needing to be upgraded with boom gates installed.
"Albert, North, Stanley and Fitzroy Street all are controlled by boom gates and we have seen the Gracemere Rail overpass built after a B Double failed to stop and collided with a track machine and injuring our members," Mr Allen said.
"RTBU train drivers are the most safe and vigilant drivers in the world and often report the public doing some pretty odd things in front of trains, like u-turns along Denison Street in front of trains or failing to stop at the stops signs and trying to beat the train.
"I myself witnessed a recent accident where a driver saw a train coming, raced across the crossing in front of the train, only to be cleaned up by a car driving along side of the train in Denison Street."
He said incidences of level crossing accidents were a result of the driving public not driving with the required due care and attention, and not obeying the road rules.
"As in this particular case, our members had done everything correct and had the train below the required speed allowed, and our Traincrew members are also sick and tired of the travelling public not following the road rules," he said.
"With changes in rail around Rockhampton, money should be fast tracked to ensure rail is competitive with road and there is a separation between plant and people, so we will continue to agitate for the rail bypass to come sooner than later," Mr Allen said.