Friday, January 25, 2013

errant motorists at level crossings, an old problem

A cover of 'The Eye of the Police' from 1910 (France).

In the 19th century when road traffic was literally horse powered, there wasn't much of a problem - horses knew they had to stop if a train was going to crash into them. But since the advent of motorised road traffic in the 20th century, stupid motorists have regularly caused collisions everywhere.  Some regard level crossing collisions as road accidents as the motorist or trucker is always responsible for them - but they have major consequences for the railway as well.  The worst such accident in NZ was in August 1993 when a concrete truck crashed into the then Southerner passenger train (Christchurch - Invercargill) at Rolleston killing 3 passengers.  More such crashes are included in the book Danger Ahead.

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