Trucking must play role in rail safety week: ATA

ATA urges trucking operators to remind their drivers about importance of level crossing safety as Rail Safety Week begins

August 19, 2010

Trucking operators are being urged to make sure they remind their drivers of the importance of safety at level crossings when National Rail Safety Week begins.

The Australian Trucking Association says operators should use the event, which runs from August 23 to 29, to talk to their drivers about safety at level crossings.

ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says there are 1oo accidents at crossings each year and an average of 37 deaths.

"These accidents could easily be avoided if every road user, whether they are truck or car drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, give level crossings the respect they deserve," St Clair says.

"That’s why we are asking trucking operators to use this week to make sure all their drivers are aware of the rules when approaching level crossings."

The ATA says many accidents occur because drivers who have used a route multiple times relax their vigilance.

Operators are being asked to encourage drivers to stop, look, listen and think when approaching the crossings that do not have active controls like flashing lights and boom gates.

The ATA also wants companies to ensure drivers, when using private and farm crossings, do not park on rail lines to open or close a gate.

St Clair says the ATA is pushing for research on the use of cut-in radio warning technology at level crossings.

"The technology would alert drivers at level crossings of an approaching train by cutting into the car or truck’s radio," he says.

The ATA is also running a rail safety display as part of its travelling exhibition, the Road Ahead, which educates students.

"The Road Ahead visits schools, communities and events across the country, providing advice about sharing the road safely with trucks – and trains - to young people who will soon be behind the wheel," St Clair says.

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