Car vs freight train: close call for driver

BOOM gates crashed on the car roof of a driver who came a little too close to a freight train this morning.

The driver’s Ford Falcon AU sedan was almost clipped by the train, which crossed Doveton Street just before 10.30am.

The car had been driving towards city when the incident occurred, as captured by a reader of The Courier.

 Ballarat Highway Patrol sergeant Ross Humphrey said it was a timely reminder that a level crossing, like any intersection, should always be approached with caution.

“Slow down,” Sergeant Humphrey said.

“Be aware that some crossing lights may not be working properly.

“There are no real second chances.

“Trains don’t stop on a dime.”

The incident happens the same day Melbourne’s Metro train operators were forced to clear a crash in Ferntree Gully.

A 41-year-old man escaped with minor injuries when his car was hit by a train at the Alpine Street crossing at 9am.

The man was already out of his car when emergency services reached the scene. He was taken to The Alfred hospital for observation, sustaining cuts and scrapes on his face.

Sergeant Humphrey said train crossings’ flashing red lights were like any red stop light - motorists must remain stationary until the lights turned off.

He warned there was always a chance another train was coming from the opposite direction and boom gates might not have had a chance to respond.

And a lot of level crossings did not have boom gates at all.

Motorists can face fines of $704 and lose four demerit points.

In some instances, vehicles could also be impounded.

Police confirmed they are following up yesterday’s incident at the Doveton Street level crossing.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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