The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) Chief Commissioner, Greg Hood, is using this year’s Rail Safety Week to remind drivers of the hazards around level crossings.
The ATSB’s investigations involving collisions between vehicles and trains on level crossings have shown that death and injuries on the nation’s rail networks are avoidable if people obey the rules and remain aware and alert at all times.
“We see vehicles, and pedestrians too, continuing taking risks when it comes to using level crossings,” Mr Hood said. “Impatience and lack of awareness are some of the key contributing factors to these kind of accidents. Drivers need to be fully aware of their surroundings at all times and think about their actions when approaching level crossings.”
Rail Safety Week, which runs until 19 August, is not just about drivers taking greater responsibility, with this year’s safety focus also involving rail workers. The ATSB has investigated several accidents involving maintenance repair work on track.
Mr Hood says conducting work on or near track can be dangerous if safe working rules and procedures have not been correctly implemented to protect the worksite.
“Rail workers have a right to come home every night after work, but they need to be absolutely vigilant when working on or near tracks to ensure they coming home safely every night,” Mr Hood said. “This means effective communications amongst all workers at all times. Trains can’t stop quickly and any breakdown in the communication or management of a worksite can leave workers extremely vulnerable.”
Mr Hood said the ATSB was united with the rail industry, regulators, government, road safety and police partners in promoting safety in and around the rail network.
“Rail safety is ultimately everyone’s responsibility, whether you are a member of the public, rail worker or rail operator,” Mr Hood said. “Be sensible, pay attention and be alert.”Last update 16 November 2018