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PERMANENT security cameras will be installed later this month at four level crossings in Cairns to improve rail safety.
Queensland Rail will spend more than $120,000 to upgrade rail crossings at Collins Ave, James St, Draper St, and Arthur St.
The move follows two collisions earlier this year between the Kuranda Scenic Railway train and motorists at the Collins Ave intersection.
A 51-year-old man has been charged with one count of careless driving over the latest incident, on February 14, and will face Cairns Magistrates Court on June 8.
Since the crash, a portable CCTV trailer was put in place at Collins Ave to monitor driver behaviour.
QR has not responded to requests about the cost of the mobile unit, however industry sources have suggested it is at least $100 per day.
The rail crossing on Draper Street where Queensland Rail is going to install permanent security cameras at the level crossing PICTURE: ANNA ROGERSCairns MP Michael Healy said the installation of permanent CCTV cameras at each of the four intersections would allow QR to continue to monitor driver behaviour at the sites, and assist police in the prosecution of level crossing infringements.
“Like red light or speed cameras on roads, prosecuting level crossing infringements at the sites — which warrant a $378 fine and three demerit points — will aim to act as a key deterrent for illegal motorist behaviour,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Rail Train and Bus Union criticised QR for not including boom gates in a discussion of possible safety upgrades for two of the level crossings, including Collins Ave.
Mr Healy said the intersection was assessed against the national model, and it was found that flashing lights and warning signage was appropriate for the site.
“It does not facilitate high speed rail traffic, seeing only two return low-speed Kuranda Scenic Railway services daily,” he said.
“Therefore, there are no current plans to install boom gates at the site.”
He suggested there may also be issues with traffic being delayed at level crossings by boom gates.
“The collision incidents which occurred at the site earlier this year were as a result of motorists disobeying the signs and signals in place and failing to come to a stop when the red lights were flashing,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.cairnspost.com.au
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