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An ATSB investigation has found that the driver of a motor vehicle who was fatally injured on 11 August 2005 at the Edith Street level crossing in Horsham, Victoria, did not give way to the train as prescribed in 'Road Rules�- Victoria'. The motorist drove into the path of the train even though the level crossing flashing lights and bell were operating correctly.

The ATSB's report concludes that it is likely that the driver of the car was distracted by internal and/or external factors. Internal factors may have included an expectation that a train would not be present, familiarity with the crossing and/or personal issues. External factors may have included the presence of an intersection immediately after the crossing.

The report further concludes that there was nothing the train crew could have done to prevent the accident. In the interest of enhancing future road/rail safety the ATSB has made a series of recommendations which include opportunities for better public education regarding the dangers of level crossing, the improved inspection of warning signage associated with level crossings and a review of the upgrade priority assessed for the Edith Street level crossing.

Horsham is situated on the main Melbourne to Adelaide line and is approximately 300 km north-west of Melbourne, and 450 km south east of Adelaide. The level crossing comprises a single rail line crossed at right angles by the roadway and is protected by flashing lights a bell, approach warning signs and road markings. Copies of the report can be downloaded from the ATSB's internet site.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
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Last update 01 April 2011

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