Trucking lobby trying to distract from real causes of level crossing collisions

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) should stop trying to blame trains for the failure of truck drivers to abide by road rules.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Assistant National Secretary Shayne Kummerfeld said the ATA’s call for flashing beacons and side-lights on trains to be made compulsory by law was a deliberate distraction from the real causes of level crossing collisions – the failure of drivers to abide by road rules, and the unrealistic pressure on truck drivers from trucking companies.

“Tinkering with lighting on trains will not change the dangerous behaviour of drivers who think they can ‘beat the train’ at a level crossing,” Mr Kummerfeld said.

“The majority of level-crossing incidents occur during daylight hours when road traffic volumes are higher. Adding lights for daytime issues is nonsensical.

“Furthermore, trains already have powerful headlights, so adding more lights would not make any positive difference to safety outcomes.

“In fact the RTBU is concerned the measures being promoted by the trucking lobby would be counter-productive to safety, as they would negatively affect visibility for train drivers and track workers.”

Mr Kummerfeld said the RTBU was continuing to push for a zero-tolerance approach to level crossing safety.

“We will continue to support improvements to level crossing infrastructure, better driver education, and stronger enforcement of road rules – including the use of fixed and mobile safety cameras and higher penalties for motorists who illegally enter level crossings.

“Road rules are there for a reason, and everyone must obey them.”