Report into level crossing fatality tabled

By: Chris Smith


The State Government has released a rail safety report into a level crossing fatality near Dalby earlier this year. On June

The State Government has released a rail safety report into a level crossing fatality near Dalby earlier this year.

On June 5 this year a six-year-old boy died following a collision between a school bus and a coal train in fog just off the Warrego Highway.

Minister for Transport John Mickel said the report found that all members of the train crew were qualified to operate the train and there were no mechanical faults found in the train or the school bus that contributed to the accident.
Mr Mickel said in accordance with its rail safety role, Queensland Transport commenced an enquiry into the occurrence appointing an independent person to chair the investigation panel.
The rail safety report, tabled in parliament today, made a number of recommendations for Queensland Transport, QR and local governments.
The report found the boy, who was wearing a seatbelt, was the only passenger on the 25-seat vehicle which had just started its school run. It found that the bus had turned off the Warrego Highway into the Pirrinuan-Apunyal Road to pick up more students when it attempted to cross a railway level crossing protected by a give way sign and collided with a Brisbane-bound coal train about 7.50am.
"My deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of this young boy and all those touched by the events of that day," Mr Mickel said.
"Queensland Transport and QR will now begin assessing the recommendations made."
Recommendations from the report:
• That Queensland Transport reviews the operation of school buses at level crossings and considers the implementation of a requirement that school buses must be stopped at all rail level crossings protected by Give Way signs and for the driver to take those steps necessary to look and listen for trains to ensure it is safe before entering the crossing.
• That Queensland Transport reviews the travel by students in school buses with a view to giving advice to school bus conveyance committees on the recommended method of securing students in buses in which seat belts are fitted.
• Queensland Transport's Rail Safety Unit monitors the action taken in addressing the recommendations contained in this report until all recommendations are completed.
• That QR considers the inclusion of instructions for train drivers operating in reduced visibility when approaching level crossings with the aim of improving the opportunity for a road vehicle driver to be made aware of the approach of a train.
• That Dalby Regional Council review their maintenance program in respect to level crossing signage and road line markings to ensure that they are inspected and maintained at an appropriate interval to remain effective.
• That the LGAQ transmit a circular to member councils to advise them of the circumstances of this occurrence and recommend that councils review their maintenance procedure in respect to level crossing signage and road line markings to ensure that they are inspected and maintained at an appropriate interval to remain effective.

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