AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Channel 9’s Sunday program to tackle trucks and level crossings

<p>The trucking industry is hopes a Channel 9 <em>Sunday</em> program report &#8211 titled <em>Death By Level Crossing</em> and to be aired this weekend &#8211 will be a fair and balanced treatment of a surprisingly complex issue.</p> <p>However, industry fears of sensationalism will only have been bolstered by the language used in a press release yesterday (Thursday, August 16) from the television station. </p> <p>&#8220This week, <em>Sunday</em> reporter Ross Coulthart shows just how irresponsible and stupid some drivers &#8211 especially the drivers of big trucks &#8211 are being at railway level crossings,&#8221 the release said. </p> <p>&#8220Barely three months on from one of the worst rail disasters in Australian history &#8211 Kerang, in country Victoria, where 11 people died and 14 were injured &#8211 <em>Sunday</em> has been riding locomotives with the train drivers and seeing from the train driver’s view just what’s happening on our tracks. </p> <p>&#8220And it’s horrifying. At a crossing near one of Australia’s biggest oil refineries, massive fully-laden lorries speed through ringing bells and flashing red lights in front of an on-coming, and clearly visible, locomotive loaded with dozens of 41,500 litre bulk fuel tanks.&#8221</p> <p>Though the language was toned down lower down in the press release, a scene has been set that the industry will hope does not pan out. </p> <p>&#8220We’ve talked to them,&#8221 Australian Trucking Association chief executive Stuart St Clair said.</p> <p>&#8220We don’t know what the program will be like.</p> <p>&#8220It always concerns us as an industry to ensure that there is a balanced approach to these programs.&#8221</p> <p>Mr St Clair said he expected the <em>Sunday</em> program &#8220will be a responsible program &#8211 as it is&#8221 more generally and that Mr Coulthart was a highly respected journalist.</p> <br />