Queensland Rail to pursue motorists for damages

"Fed up" Queensland Rail has expanded the number of motorists it is pursuing for crashing into boom gates

August 24, 2012

Efforts are being stepped up to pursue motorists who have crashed into boom gates in Queensland as the government attempts to stamp out dangerous on-road behaviour.

Queensland Rail has recovered $200,000 since July 2010 after pursuing 38 claims but Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson says a further 63 claims will now be chased up.

Queensland Rail reported 80 incidents of boom gates being struck last financial year, while last week rail services on the Caboolture and Sunshine Coast lines were delayed for almost one hour after a truck struck boom gates.

Queensland Rail Acting CEO Jim Benstead says the repair bill for damage to boom gates, signalling equipment and fencing can often exceed $10,000.

"Queensland Rail is fed up with the costly damage to its property and has pursued drivers for the repair costs of infrastructure," he says.

"Motorists have been forced to pay damage bills that run into the thousands of dollars but in reality it could have been much worse - they could have been hit by a train."

The most commonly-struck area is at Bracken Ridge, north of Brisbane, while other areas to experience a number of collisions include Ferny Grove, Kuraby, Doomben and Coopers Plains.

"There is the obvious danger of ignoring lowered boom gates but a collision with a boom gate also impacts on the lives of all of those travelling with us," Emerson says.

"It means we have to stop trains for the safety of our customers and road users, and services can only resume when police are on the scene and able to direct traffic safely."

"We ask that people obey the warning signs and signals and stop - this could save them not only money but also their life."

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