Drivers blamed for near misses
Dangerous driving is to blame for a spate of near collisions between motorists and trains at level crossings, KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn says.
Since January train drivers have reported 19 incidents at level crossings where motorists have crossed in front of approaching trains.
Twelve of these were at crossings protected by flashing lights and bells.
One of these incidents occurred at George St in Eden Terrace in late January.
The driver crossed despite the fact barriers were down to indicate a train was approaching.
Roadworks were in progress at the time and the driver also ignored a construction worker who was holding up a stop sign.
In four other incidents motorists deliberately drove around vehicles which had already stopped at the crossing and in one situation the motorist had to swerve to avoid the train.
Level crossing alarms and signs are there for the safety of motorists and drivers can be prosecuted for failing to stop, Inspector Mark Stables says.
‘‘We urge motorists to heed the level crossing alarms, never enter a crossing if they can see a train approaching, but be patient and wait for it to pass.’’