Driver distraction leads to level crossing collision
The ATSB has found that a collision between a train and low loader truck occurred because the truck driver was probably distracted and did not see the train approaching.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigated the collision which occurred at the Magpie Drive level crossing, Tailem Bend, South Australia, on 4 October 2006.
At the time of the accident the crossing was controlled by passive 'Stop' signs and approach warning signs. It is likely that the truck did not come to a halt at the 'Stop' sign controlling the crossing as the driver was possibly distracted by the presence of the road-junction ahead and/or a preoccupation with arriving at his destination on time, which may have diverted his attention from the risks associated with negotiating the level crossing.
The investigation also found that the viewing angle to the north-west of the crossing was substandard and coupled with restricted visibility from the truck driver's cab would have made it difficult for the truck driver to sight the train.
The investigation established 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 closure of the level crossing and/or options for improving sighting and viewing angle, enhancing train conspicuity, and expanding the role of the Department for Transport, Energy & Infrastructure Level Crossing Unit's role to include an ongoing level crossing education and audit role.Media contact: 1800 020 616 Last update 01 April 2011