By Paul Hemsley
The Queensland government is following Victoria’s footsteps to make open level crossings for trains and cars safer.
Last month, the Victorian government announced it would trial communications technology to warn drivers of approaching trains in a three year $5.5 million project.
Now Queensland is implementing a similar scheme for an even smaller amount of $1 million to trial automated sensor technology and solar powered lighting and signage systems that are protected from power outages.
The sunshine state has shortlisted three companies as part of the Rail Level Crossing Safety Technology Trial including NFA Innovations Pty Ltd, La Trobe University and Railnet Safety Systems Pty Ltd.
La Trobe University is the common denominator between the Victorian and Queensland trials as it has developed the wireless and GPS car alarm technology for the Victorian Government.
The trial comes in response to a reported 213 near misses on the Queensland Rail network. According to the Queensland government, 130 close shaves occurred in the South East of the state while another 83 occurred in the regions.
Transport and Main Roads Minister, Scott Emerson said the companies will prepare a comprehensive proposal identifying suitable trial sites.
“These ideas, as well as a number of other trials currently underway, such as the valet in-roads light system in Innisfail, will help us identify and evaluate a range of potential level crossing safety improvements.
“While these trials look to improve level crossing safety, motorists and pedestrians must continue to play their part and simply follow the rules – obey the signs and signals,” Mr Emerson said.
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