TasRail may sue crash driver

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 05 April 2013 | 19.55

A car and a train collided at the Hopkins St crossing about 5am this morning. / File photo

TASRAIL is considering taking legal action against a motorist involved in a collision with a train at a crossing at Moonah early this morning.

TasRail said the locomotive was damaged in the crash and the train driver had been shaken by the incident.

The motorist involved in the collision -- at 5am at the Hopkins St level crossing -- walked away with minor injuries.

The train driver will receive counselling and other support, TasRail said.

TasRail CEO Damien White said warning bells and flashing lights at the level crossing had been working at the time of the crash.

Today's collision is the first recorded in the 2012-13 period but follows a number of recent reports of reckless behaviour at level crossings, the train operator said.

"In recent weeks our train drivers have reported a number of serious near miss incidents," Mr White said.

"These included two separate reports of motorists being impatient waiting for trains and taking a deliberate decision to pull out of a queue to overtake waiting vehicles and drive through a level crossing in front of an approaching train."

TasRail has also reported that youths in Devonport and Hobart have played "chicken" with an approaching train in recent weeks.

The train driver was forced to make an emergency stop during both incidents.

In 2011-2012 TasRail reported a 41 per cent reduction in the number of reported near miss incident at level crossings -- 69 down from 118 the year before.

There were two level crossing collisions in 2011-12 compared to seven in 2010-11.

A survey of Tasmanian train drivers conducted by TrackSAFE last month named level crossings at Conara and several in Glenorchy as the state's most dangerous.

TrackSAFE has now contacted state and federal transport ministers asking for upgrades to be funded and for level crossings to be phased out and replaced with bridges or underpasses on busy roads.

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