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HUNDREDS of idiots risking their lives near trains have caused the loss of five more pedestrian crossings that cannot be made safe.
The announcement comes as the Transport Department released video showing three youths playing chicken with a train at East St Bowden, causing it to activate emergency braking.
Department figures released yesterday show between 2011 and 2016, 4 people were killed and 6 people were seriously injured at railway crossings. In total 741 near-misses were reported.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said the youths at Bowden were “dicing with death’’ and linked pedestrian behaviour to the forced closure of some crossings.
Mr Mullighan said work would soon begin on previously announced upgrades to metropolitan pedestrian crossings and rural level crossings as part of an initial $12 million investment in the State Government’s Railway Crossing Safety Strategy.
In the most expensive cases crossings are made safe by installing electronic gates, rather than giving those crossing unrestricted access to the line, even when a train was approaching.
Mr Mullighan said cost benefit analysis showed five crossings should be closed, at Christie Downs Railway Station, King Street Brighton, Pine Avenue Seacliff, Hallett Cove Railway Station, and Carlton Street Oaklands Park.
Youths run across the rail line at Bowden, causing a train to use its emergency brakes.“These five passive pedestrian crossings which currently pose safety risks will also be closed, with pedestrians directed to nearby, safer alternatives,’’ Mr Mullighan said.
“By removing level crossings or upgrading them, we will significantly improve safety and reduce the likelihood of injuries and even deaths.’’
Automatic gates will be installed at three of the city’s worst trouble spots; Christie Downs, Brighton and Hove.
Seven rural road level crossings will be upgraded in the Mid North, Flinders Ranges, Callington, Currency Creek, Murray Bridge and Nairne, while signage will be upgraded at a further 154 level crossings.
Safety upgrades will also be delivered at metropolitan road level crossings at Gillman, Wingfield, Seaton and Port Adelaide.
RAA Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain said misuse of pedestrian crossings by pedestrians was disappointing.
“We’re supportive of the automatic gates which are to be installed, as it will make it harder for people to put themselves at risk,’’ he said.
“We hope the State Government will look to make further safety improvements.”
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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