A POLICE sting has seen a host of Griffith drivers slapped with $405 fines for failing to stop at local rail crossings.
During last week’s Rail Safety Week, police used mobile and stationary patrols to target drivers at the many crossings that slice through the city.
The operation, which runs until Sunday, is aimed at curbing the high incidence of local drivers failing to obey stop signs at crossings, or rolling over the stop line before coming to a halt.
Griffith Highway Patrol sergeant Steve Pidgeon said while many motorists saw this as a minor offence, the implications of a train colliding with a vehicle were anything but minor.
“We do have a lot of crossings in town and very few of them are controlled by lights and boom-gates,” Sergeant Pidgeon said.
“There’s not a high volume of trains here and I think because of that, complacency can come in a bit for drivers.
“But trains don’t stop quickly and as we saw in Victoria a couple of years ago, that can have fatal consequences.
“It might not happen often, but when it does the risk is very high.”
In a similar Rail Safety Week operation two years ago, Griffith had the highest number of offenders in the state for not stopping at a rail crossing.
Sergeant Pidgeon said drivers were also posing a danger at spots like the Yoogali intersection and Ulong Street lights by entering the level crossing area when the road ahead was blocked.
Yearly, there are about 180 fatalities nationwide as a result of people walking on train tracks or in rail corridors and taking risks at level crossings.