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The ATSB has released a safety bulletin to raise public awareness of the factors which have contributed to a spate of recent tragic rail level crossing accidents.

Since April 2006 the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has investigated 12 significant level crossing accidents of which nine have involved heavy road vehicles.

The terrible tragedy of the Kerang accident in Victoria in June last year is an example of such an accident where 11 people lost their lives and 20 were injured.

The recent investigations conducted by the ATSB have found in almost every case that the motorist failed to stop and give-way to the train at the level crossing and that there was little the train driver could do to prevent or minimise the collision.

Underlying factors such as complacency, fatigue, expectation that no train will be encountered at the crossing, sighting problems, and distraction have all been found to have influenced the motorist's failure to stop.

The ATSB safety bulletin has been compiled with the assistance of the Australian Trucking Association and the Australasian Railway Association and will complement the work already being undertaken by these organisations and by the various state authorities to raise public awareness of these accidents to seek to save lives in the future.

Media contact: 1800 020 616
 
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Last update 01 April 2011