While the messages around rail safety are simple, there are thousands of occasions of illegal and unsafe behaviour near rail crossings reported each year, putting many people in harm’s way.
The Industry Road Safety Alliance South West is joining with TrackSAFE to celebrate Rail Safety Week to improve education and community awareness around rail safety.
Every year, rail operators witness thousands of near hits and trespass incidents, fatalities on the network, as well as illegal behaviour at level crossings and graffiti or vandalism on or around trains.
More and more commuters are being witnessed not paying attention and using mobile phones on platforms or near level crossings.
During Road Safety Week, people are being urged to share rail safety tips with others by taking the time to talk to friends, children, colleagues and loved ones about the importance of staying safe around the rail networks.
“Rail Safety Week is all about drawing attention to the behaviours that could lead to incidents on the rail network – and these behaviours are seemingly innocuous, such as looking at screens, not removing earphones or taking short cuts across tracks. However, all of these actions could lead to deadly consequences,” said The Honourable Tim Fischer AC Patron of the TrackSAFE Foundation.
Train drivers, guards, station staff and other rail industry employees are often the first people on the scene when incidents take place on the network, and witnessing these events can cause severe mental, physical and emotional trauma.
Rail operators and road safety advocates are pleading with the community to stop accepting illegal and reckless behaviour around trains, tracks and level crossings and to take responsibility for their actions.
“Together we can make a difference and reduce the number of incidents happening on our rail network– rail safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said Mr Fischer.
For more information, head to www.industryroadsafety.com.au.