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Coroner’s findings


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau notes that on 25 October 2010 the New South Wales Deputy State Coroner, William Brydon, delivered his findings in the inquest into a death arising from the collision of a passenger car and the XPT-ST24 train at a level crossing on Thurgoona Drive, Albury NSW.  The ATSB had previously investigated this accident and published its finding on this website.

The Coroner's findings were substantially in accordance with those of the ATSB.

The Coroner made a recommendation that consideration be given to the placement, in each case where visual impairment is caused to road users by construction or earthworks, of a boom gate.  The Coroner did not conclude it should be done in every case; but in the interests of transport safety and to protect people from the prospect of inadvertence.

ATSB Response:
The ATSB notes that the issue of whether to place boom gates at level crossings is a matter for assessment by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.  The ATSB wishes to draw attention to Part 5.1 of its Final Report at page 24 regarding level crossing traffic control systems.  The Thurgoona Road level crossing was controlled by flashing lights and bells.  These remove the need for drivers to sight an approaching train before deciding whether to proceed across the level crossing.  Boom barriers provide an additional visual and physical barrier between road vehicles and trains.

Cooperation with Coroners:
ATSB investigations are conducted with the objective of providing findings that can be used to improve transport safety in the future.  Coronial Inquests are a separate process to the ATSB investigation and they are usually supported by their own investigation and brief of evidence.  However, as Inquests also have the objective of seeking to prevent a death occurring again, the ATSB provides cooperation through the explanation of the ATSB's findings in its report.  The ATSB appreciates the interest of Coroners in working with the ATSB in the interests of improving future safety.

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