QR drivers Shane Manski, Phil Sempf and Peter Nissen want motorists to be fully aware of the dangers at level crossings.
QR drivers Shane Manski, Phil Sempf and Peter Nissen want motorists to be fully aware of the dangers at level crossings. MURRAY WENZEL

Bundy driver warns of train risks

A QUEENSLAND Rail employee for 35 years, Peter Nissen has seen first hand the devastation a train crash can cause.

Not surprisingly, the Bundaberg driver, along with his work mates, has decided enough is enough.

Mr Nissen will feature on a confronting new television and DVD campaign being rolled out Australia-wide this week.

The driver and his colleagues are calling on motorists and pedestrians to be more patient and take responsibility for their own actions to reduce the likelihood of accidents, particularly at level crossings.

“I’ve seen it far too often; watching and hoping that cars will stop at the flashing red light. My heart pounds but we can’t dodge or stop. We are basically helpless to avoid them,” he said.

QR chief executive officer Lance Hockridge said the two-pronged campaign would hit televisions in family living rooms around the country this week.

“The DVD and series of community service announcements feature the harrowing and emotional ordeal many train drivers face, simply because motorists continue to break the road rules,” Mr Hockridge said.

“We have developed the DVD with our drivers and we’ll be sending a copy to every QR family in the country.

“We have more than 15,000 employees and we’re hoping every one of them will sit down and watch this very important safety message with their family and friends.”

QR statistics show more than 95 per cent of near misses can be directly attributed to the road user.

Mr Nissen agreed with the figures, saying in most cases it was a lack of patience by motorists that caused unnecessary accidents.

“People will happily wait 10 minutes at McDonald’s, but not one minute for a train to pass,” Mr Nissen said.

So far this year there have already been more than 200 near-misses at level crossings throughout Queensland.



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