Kitchener-Waterloo

Driver caught on video driving on LRT tracks on King Street in Kitchener

A driver has been caught on video driving on LRT tracks on King Street in Kitchener. Brad Fach filmed it and says it's a lesson to other drivers to be more aware of what they're doing on the road. The region says its looking into it.

Driver didn't appear to realize error, 'just kept on driving up the hill,' says Brad Fach

Brad Fach took a video of a grey car on the ION LRT tracks in Kitchener on July 30. The region says it's looking into what happened. (Brad Fach)

Brad Fach says he couldn't believe his eyes when he watched a driver on King Street go onto the LRT tracks.

Fach was in the passenger seat of his co-worker's car on Tuesday and they were heading north when, just past Victoria Street, a driver of a grey car maneuvered onto the tracks.

"I think he didn't even realize at any point in this endeavour that he had made a mistake and just kept on driving up the hill," Fach said.

He noted the driver was going the same direction trains would travel the same track, which was good because there was no risk a train would come over the hill and strike the car. The driver couldn't move off the tracks because there is a raised curb between the tracks and the road.

"To me, I just thought how could this person possibly not understand what they just did," Fach said.

Fach posted the video to his Facebook page. You can watch the video below. 

Warning: video contains some coarse language.

Driving on tracks could lead to fine

While Fach blames the driver for the error, he says it also shows there are areas of improvement for the LRT system. The only thing keeping people off the tracks are two black and white signs noting the tracks are for trains. He suggested the region may want to consider installing "do not enter" signs.

"I think the LRT has some growing pains for the next few months at least," he said.

There have been multiple collisions between vehicles and LRT trains, particularly in the weeks leading up to the service launching.

Brendon Simon is the senior project manager for the ION LRT. He's seen the video and he notes any driver caught driving in the marked diamond lanes — in this case meaning they are for trains only — can be fined $110 and three demerit points.

"The region has reviewed signage in the area, so everything seems to be posted according to standards and the Highway Traffic Act," Simon said.

The region is not considering any additional signage, he said.

Example of 'oblivious' drivers

Simon said there haven't been any reported collisions with LRT in the last few weeks, but there are still stories of drivers not being aware of the trains.

"The big issue that we still have is turns in front of trains and we want to make sure that all motorists are vigilant and watch those blank-out signs that we have that restrict turns when a train is coming," Simon said.

"The rules of the road haven't changed. Everything is the same. It's just a matter of following the signs and signals and look at those restrictions."

Fach said he's had a mix of reactions to the video, including people who said he shouldn't have filmed the incident.

But Fach said the driver wasn't injured and it's a lesson for others.

"It was an example of how oblivious some of the drivers in this region are to some of the simplest things like railroad tracks, roundabouts," he said.

"If we don't call people out on mistakes like this, then we're just holding everyone to the lowest common denominator."

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