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NTI investigates truck / train crashes


Date: 12 July 2011

As Australia's leading transport insurance specialist, NTI's National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) regularly conducts studies into trucking industry crash trends.

In 2007, NTI conducted research into truck / train crashes from 1986 to 2006.  Following discussions with rail engineers, our findings recommended urgently incorporating early-warning technologies to prevent these crashes.

Following yesterday's collision between a truck and the Sunlander passenger train at a level crossing on the Bruce Highway, NTI's media release from 2007 can be viewed below:

16 August 2007

Insurer concludes investigation into truck / train crashes  
 
A major study into truck accidents involving trains, at level crossings, has been undertaken in light of recent incidents near Kerang in Victoria and Two Wells in SA. Australia's number 1 truck insurer, National Transport Insurance (NTI), the insurer of the road transport vehicles involved in the incidents, has researched claims where trains and trucks have collided.

NTI's Industry & Customer Affairs Manager, Owen Driscoll, today confirmed that resources were augmented to expand this study undertaken by the insurer’s National Truck Accident Research Centre .

‘Since 1986 our records indicate 84 incidents notified to NTI where trucks and trains have collided with varying degrees of seriousness. 44% of these crashes have occurred since 2000.’

‘85% of these incidents occurred in daylight hours highlighting the need to stay alert particularly in rural and remote areas’.

‘With reportedly more than 9400 rail crossings across Australia, there must be immediate action taken to protect the safety of road and rail users. Obviously we support ongoing driver awareness & training and when it comes to highway crossings, a system providing earlier warnings ‘.he said.

Interim findings include:

  • In 83% of incidents the road unit was on an outbound journey from home base.
  • In 87% of incidents the heavy vehicle was found to be responsible.
  • 43% occurred in Queensland with the result influenced by incidents with cane trains.
  • Worst day Wednesday, Time: between 9am & 3pm, July, September & November identified as worst months.
  • Night & black hours incidents are minimal
  • The use of cane trains, periodic line closures out of season, and a general FNQ complacency require further research.
  • Technology urgently needs to be embraced viz. electronics (signal send) radar and truck receivers incorporating radio / CB cut thru.
  • Speed limits MUST be immediately reduced when approaching rail crossings.
  • It is impractical to affix flashing lights and boom gates to all level crossings across Australia.

NTI’s National Truck Accident Research Centre reviewed, day, month, time, location of rail crossing, freight carried, truck configuration, age / experience of driver and other associated factors in the current study. The research focuses on heavy vehicle accidents in the hire & reward road freight sector with trucks having a carrying capacity exceeding 4.5 tonnes.

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Insurance products are provided by National Transport Insurance, a joint venture of the insurers Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU  Insurance ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681  and AAI Limited Trading as Vero Insurance ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 each holding a 50% share. National Transport Insurance is administered on behalf of the insurers by its manager NTI Limited ABN 84 000 746 109 AFSL 237246.
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