Train racers warned about 'notorious' crossing

By Simon Waters

2 comments

Don't race trains.

That's the message for Whanganui drivers tempted to roll the dice at a "notorious" city intersection.

Those who do risk a $150 fine, or worse, severe injury.

Constable Trevor Scarrow of the Whanganui Police said "I don't like writing out infringements, but better that than picking up the pieces after a collision."

Horizons Regional Council roadsafe co-ordinator Glenda Leitao emphasised what motorists were up against.

"Trains are big and don't stop in a hurry."

Two signs either side of the Heads Rd and Beach Rd rail crossing have been erected to raise awareness of trains at the uncontrolled intersection.

It is a multi agency promotion between Horizons, Whanganui District Council, Police, TrackSafe and Downer.

"The train traffic on this line is set to treble with a lot more freight coming and going," Ms Leitao said.

"This is already a notorious intersection for people racing trains. There have been numerous close misses."

Constable Scarrow said concern about the intersection was raised by train drivers.

"They send us reports of any incidents and sometimes photos. Obviously they don't want to hit and harm somebody."

He said he has issued about four infringements in recent months and that police would be actively enforcing the area.

"Those drivers have acknowledged they were trying to get across ahead of the train and have cut it a bit close," Constable Scarrow said.

One driver, "worryingly", said they did not see the train despite a near collision.

"We've been lucky so far and we would like to keep it that way," Ms Leitao said. "Trains can't just slam on the brakes like cars."

Ms Leitao said drivers should also expect trains at different times and days than usual as the traffic on the line ramped up.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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