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'Hard to watch': Uptick in dangerous crashes with railway boom arms



A 'distressing' amount of drivers have had dangerous collisions with railway boom arms in 2022, prompting Queensland Rail to release a new safety campaign.

Over the last 12 months 85 drivers have collided with boom arms in Queensland, 13 more additional crashes than in 2021, according to Queensland Rail.

The "Avoid Harm, Stop Before The Boom Arm" campaign also includes an increased police presence at boom arm incident hot spots.

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"Boom arms are being dislodged and cars are hurtling through the level crossings, sometimes seconds from a collision with a train – it's hard to watch," senior manager for security and emergency preparedness Drew Brock said.

"It doesn't matter if it's inattention or indifference, if you ignore the warning signs, the result can be the same – catastrophic.

"Trains travel fast, they're slow to stop and they can't swerve – so it's up to motorists to stay safe, obey the flashing signals and boom arms at level crossings.

"We saw seven drivers strike Queensland Rail boom arms in just one month in January, following an alarming upward trend."

Drivers caught ignoring the flashing warning lights at a level crossing can cop a $431 infringement notice and three demerit points.

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Drivers caught ignoring the flashing warning lights at a level crossing will be fined $431 infringement notice and three demerit points.

Drivers who cause any damage to rail infrastructure could face $1150 fines and lose four demerit points.

"Drivers can expect to see us out in force at these bad behaviour hot spots," Queensland Police Service Senior Constable Jason Goodwin said.

"We'll have mobile message boards around the network, as an added reminder but we're pleading with motorists to do their part and make safe choices.

"If you're doing the wrong thing, rest assured you'll be glad it's us catching you and not an oncoming train."

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