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V/LINE has issued a safety warning to Ballarat commuters following a spate of dangerous near-miss incidents across the state in recent weeks.
Police were called to the Wendouree Railway Station level crossing on January 14, after two youths were found sitting on the track.
V/Line figures released on Monday show there have already been more than 20 pedestrian near-miss incidents this year.
Another case involved two young girls ‘playing chicken’ with a train at the Bendigo-Pyramid Road level crossing in northern Victoria.
V/Line chief executive officer Theo Taifalos said train lines and level crossings were not the places for games.
“This behaviour is extremely dangerous and it’s a frightening example of pedestrians dicing with death,” Mr Taifalos said.
“The consequences could have been fatal.”
V/Line figures revealed 378 pedestrian near-misses were reported across the network last year.
Mr Taifalos said not only were people risking their lives, but these incidents also affected train drivers.
“It can be a traumatic experience for our drivers and it’s happening far too often,” he said.
Mr Taifalos revealed that in another incident on the Bendigo train line earlier this year, three youths had pushed open an emergency gate and ran in front of a train at Clarkefield Station.
Mr Taifalos urged people to take extra care and remain vigilant around train lines and level crossings at all times.
“It takes trains a lot longer to stop than vehicles, so pedestrians need to be patient while waiting for a train to pass,” he said.
“It’s simply not worth risking your life for the sake of a few seconds.”
V/Line is also urging the community to be alert and immediately report anyone who trespasses through a pedestrian barrier or is involved in dangerous behaviour around the railway tracks and trains.
This article first appeared on www.thecourier.com.au
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