Hume Hwy the launching pad for Rail Safety Week

ARA, politicians and police to launch Rail Safety Week to raise awareness among motorists to act safely around railway crossings

August 12, 2013

The Hume Highway in New South Wales will act as the launching pad for this year’s annual Rail Safety Week initiative.

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) will join politicians and police to officially kick-off the event, which promotes rail safety messages to local communities and the public across Australasia, with a supersite billboard on the highway near Goulburn.

The billboard will promote this year’s campaign message of ‘Train yourself’. The ARA says the message is aimed at reinforcing the fact the onus is on the individual to obey the rules around railway lines and to stop, look, listen and think before crossing them.

ARA CEO and TrackSafe Director Bryan Nye, federal Labor Senator Ursula Stephens, Liberal candidate for Hume Angus Taylor, Goulburn Mayor Geoff Kettle and a NSW Police representative will all attend the launch.

Nye says not enough emphasis can be put on the importance of people remaining aware and vigilant around railway lines, level crossings and stations.

"Railway safety remains one of the industry’s highest safety priorities with Australia's rail network being the sixth largest in the world, with 44,000km of track and 23,500 level crossings," he says.

"On this network there are a reported 5,000 trespass incidents, 70 level crossing collisions, around 180 fatalities and thousands of near misses every year. All are a direct result of taking risks and disobeying the rules around railway lines and level crossings.

"Rail is the safest form of land transport. The issue is behavioural— when people go to take risks around railway lines they fail to realise that trains always have right of way and simply cannot stop quickly. It can take a fully loaded freight train up to 2km to stop."

During the week-long event, TrackSafe will be running an awareness campaign using billboards on major roads, posters in train stations and brochures in community and information centres imploring people to train themselves to stop, look, listen and think when around train lines.

"Anyone choosing to take shortcuts, walk on or near train tracks, or ignore railway level crossing signals is not only risking their own lives but the lives of the train driver, crew, and passengers," Nye says.

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