Govt turns to speed cameras for level crossings

Drivers may be fined for dangerous behaviour at level crossings as Queensland Government attempts to crack down on safety violations

Drivers may soon be fined for dangerous behaviour at rail level crossings as the Queensland Government attempts to crack down on safety violations.

Minister for Transport John Mickel says there is a worrying trend among motorists ignoring flashing lights or queuing across a rail crossing as boom gates lower.

Mickel says a trial of closed circuit cameras in Brisbane earlier this year may be expanded across the state, while red light cameras may be used to catch people ignoring warning signals.

"The red light cameras would enable motorists who broke the law by not stopping level crossing flashing lights to be issued with a traffic infringement notice," he says.

Queensland Rail (QR) will be responsible for the expansion after it became aware motorists were brazenly ignoring warnings despite cameras monitoring and identifying culprits.

"Motorists were entering the crossing while the warning lights were flashing, and some ended up queuing across the crossing during peak traffic periods," Mickel says.

"Other motorists were more determined to ignore the flashing lights and lowered boom gates, and deliberately tried to drive around them."
Mickel says there were instances where vehicles hit and damaged boom gates.

The government initiative will be coordinated by other agencies including police, Queensland Transport and Main Roads.

Mickel says closed circuit cameras may be added onto existing communication networks used for signalling and train control.

"Red light cameras involve more complex technical and operational requirements, and their suitability for use at level crossings will be discussed with police," he says.

Police will also conduct a number of blitzed at level crossing throughout Queensland.

The Government is basing its actions on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s findings, which show most collisions at level crossings are a result of motorist or pedestrian error.

The Government says 98 percent of collisions on QR tracks in the past seven years were the road user’s fault.

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