Industry backs funds for high-risk level crossings

Announcement of $14 million for dangerous level crossings in WA has won industry support, with claims it will reduce accidents

A government move to invest $14 million in upgrading deadly level crossings in Western Australia has won industry support, with claims it will reduce truck and train collisions.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the money, which is part of the Rudd Government’s Nation Building and Jobs Plan, will help install vital safety features on 62 high-risk crossings.

The group says up to three quarters of the 62 crossings will move from only being protected by signs or flashing lights to having active advanced warning systems, which alert road traffic of approaching trains up to 200 metres before the crossing.

"The upgrades are desperately needed. Last year there were about 100 accidents recorded at level crossings across the country. This nationwide upgrade of safety features will help reduce that figure," ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says.

Transport Forum WA Chief Executive Ian King says level crossings pose a significant risk to truck drivers because it takes longer for heavy vehicles to cross railways.

"We are pleased the government has committed to the upgrade of these 62 sites across the state and we look forward to more funding announcements that will make our state’s roads a safer place to work," King says.

Some of funds will be spent on level crossings in areas in and around South Fremantle, Bunbury, Moora, Leonora, Menzies and Byford.

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