Pedestrians ignore train danger

A Dunedin photographer, Jordy Cleaver, captures images of pedestrians walking in front of approaching trains, prompting a warning from KiwiRail for people to be alert to the dangers. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY AND JORDAN CLEAVER
A Dunedin photographer, Jordy Cleaver, captures images of pedestrians walking in front of approaching trains, prompting a warning from KiwiRail for people to be alert to the dangers. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY AND JORDAN CLEAVER

Pedestrians walking on level crossings in Dunedin within seconds of trains thundering through have grown complacent to the risks, KiwiRail says.

A Dunedin photographer has caught three images of pedestrians walking in front of approaching trains, with one just seconds from being hit.

Jordan Cleaver said two of the trains were travelling at 60kmh-70kmh towards pedestrians as they crossed.

A third, by the Dunedin Railway Station, was slower, but the pedestrian was just one or two seconds away from being hit.

Mr Cleaver said he saw the practice ``quite often'' as he was photographing trains.

Showed the images yesterday, KiwiRail Zero Harm group general manager Katie McMahon said any unsafe behaviour around the rail network concerned the company.

``It is very important to always obey warning signs and signals at level crossings, and always look in both directions before crossing rail tracks.''

She said trains could come at any time, from either direction.

``They are fast, heavy, and cannot stop easily.''

While people were aware of the risk from trains, in many cases that knowledge did not translate into action.

``Some people have grown complacent to risk around the tracks, and there are now further risks to contend with, such as mobile technology.

``Every accident on the track is an individual tragedy that impacts on the lives of families, friends, communities, our staff and those in the emergency services who deal with the aftermath.''

Figures showed there were 71 near collisions in New Zealand last year, though only one - reported, at least - in Otago.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

Comments

Perhaps police need to start handing out fines?

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