AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Truck driver `looked but did not see’ train before crossing crash

<p>Truck driver error caused a Northern Territory level crossing collision between a FreightLink train and a road train, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation has concluded.</p> <p>The ATSB said today (Thursday, June 28) the collision last October 20 near Elizabeth River occurred because the truck driver did not stop at a &#8220Stop&#8221 sign to give way to an approaching freight train.</p> <p>The road train had approached the level crossing that came just before a T-intersection with Channel Island Road and it was thought that the driver had the task of preparing to safely negotiate that intersection foremost in his mind.</p> <p>This may have led him to &#8220look but not see&#8221 the train.</p> <p>The report found that an adjacent road junction, low train &#8220conspicuity&#8221 and a low expectation of seeing a train &#8220probably combined to mistakenly filter the truck driver’s attention away from the importance of looking for a train. </p> <p>&#8220Consequently, he did not see the approaching train, even though it is likely that he looked in that direction,&#8221 the bureau said.</p> <p>The ATSB also concluded that it had become normal practice for the truck driver to slow but not stop at the level crossing Stop sign.</p> <p>The ATSB report made recommendations relating to public awareness and visibility of approaching trains, and acknowledged that the rail operator and the Northern Territory Government have implemented strategies to prevent similar collisions at this location.</p> <p>The ATSB advised the Northern Territory Level Crossings Safety Committee to consider further strategies to reinforce public awareness of risk and encourage safe motorist behaviour at railway level crossings. </p> <p>It also said FreightLink should consider strategies to make approaching trains more conspicuous to motorists stopped at, or approaching, railway level crossings.</p> <br />