Over the next two days more than 90 representatives from over 40 organisations will gather in Melbourne to discuss and share knowledge on the important issue of level crossing safety.
The Australasian Railway Level Crossing Safety Forum will see experts from the rail industry, government, police, road user groups and research bodies come together today and tomorrow to share knowledge on State and National programs and experiences in level crossing safety work.
TrackSAFE Director Bryan Nye is particularly keen to focus the discussion on the importance that must be given to education, enforcement and awareness and how they can positively influence behaviour.
“Australia's rail network is the sixth largest in the world, with 44,000km of track and 23,500 level crossings across the network,” said Mr Nye.
“There are around 70 collisions every year at level crossings where road users fail to obey the road rules with many ending in serious injuries or fatalities.
“Alarmingly there are also over one thousand near collisions at level crossings annually and each is just moments away from becoming an incident,” he said.
The Forum will also look into ways to build on new and existing infrastructure, technology and research and determine a national approach to level crossing safety.
“Following the disbanding of the National Railway Level Crossing Group there is no longer a national level crossing strategy group and yet much of the research being undertaken and strategies being implemented overlap or have relevance across these jurisdictions.
“I hope we see collaboration events like this Forum today continue to promote discussion and solutions on this issue, so that one day we will live in a country where level crossing accidents are a thing of the past,” Mr Nye concluded.
The forum is hosted by V/Line and Public Transport Victoria, along with the TrackSAFE Foundation and Australasian Railway Association.