National Rail Safety Week

COMMUTERS are being urged to stay alert and take care near train and tram tracks to prevent catastrophic accidents as part of Rail Safety Week.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said events being held during the week will focus on highlighting key aspects of rail safety that all members of the travelling public should be aware of.

“Each year Australian and New Zealand rail organisations, road user groups, government bodies and the police come together for Rail Safety Week to raise awareness of safety in the communities within which they operate, work and live,” Mr McCormack said.

“Campaigns in support of Rail Safety Week are rolling out in each state and across New Zealand to remind people of the dangers of trespassing on and ignoring the warning signs and signals established in an effort to ensure safe passage for everyone who needs to access designated rail corridors.”

“We would like to remind the public that police in each state will be out in force throughout Rail Safety Week, targeting motorists and pedestrians who take risks at level crossings and near train and tram tracks.”

Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said while rail accidents occurred less frequently than road crashes, the impacts could be tragic.

“An accident involving a heavy vehicle and a fully loaded passenger train can have catastrophic consequences in terms of lives lost and the resulting social and economic impacts,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Every single level crossing incident and near miss can also tragically cause severe and lasting trauma to the train drivers, other rail employees and emergency service workers involved. Rail Safety Week is a reminder that rail safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

“It is important as a community that we stop accepting reckless and illegal behaviour around trains, tracks and level crossings, and instead start taking responsibility for our actions.”

Shane Manning