By Stephen Pigram
A school bus driver who failed to give way at a level crossing in Hobart’s northern suburbs has been criticised as “seriously stupid and reckless” by the rail authority.
TasRail has posted a video on social media showing the bus crossing the rail line at Station Street in Brighton just two seconds before a 2,000-tonne train reached the crossing.
The bus was empty, but TasRail said the incident had been very traumatic for the train driver who could not tell whether there were students onboard.
TasRail communications manager Sarah Hirst said it could have ended in tragedy.
“Without any lookout for any train coming, he’s driven his bus straight through the crossing,” Ms Hirst said.
“I would describe this as seriously stupid and reckless behaviour.
“There is no doubt that within a couple of seconds this could have been a huge tragedy.
“The train driver was blowing the horn and he’s failed to take note of the signs at the crossing and by a matter of seconds he’s missed being hit by a 2,000-tonne train.
“It all happened very quickly and our driver was unable to determine whether or not there were students on board.”
Ms Hirst said she was disgusted to see this sort of behaviour despite education campaigns about level crossing safety.
“We have investigated this matter and we do believe that the children had just been dropped off at school so the bus was empty at the time,” she said.
“Its is a huge relief but it could have gone either way being 8:30am on a Monday morning.”
She said the matter may be referred to police.
“We are continuing to investigate to determine exactly who was involved from which company as there were no markings on the bus,” she said.
“Once we can speak to the person involved we can then decide whether the matter will be referred to Tasmania Police.”