This year marks ten years of Rail Safety Week, with the national initiative once again being held in August and coordinated by the TrackSAFE Foundation and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).
The last ten years have seen rail organisations and police across Australia and New Zealand come together to support the initiative, promoting the importance of staying safe on and around the rail network. The aim of the week is to drive rail safety messages into local communities and the public through media campaigns in an attempt to reinforce the importance of always obeying the rules and staying safe around the rail network.
Equally as important is the work of many rail organisations that carry out internal safety campaigns and briefings to engage their staff and reinforce the safety messages at work. Since the establishment of TrackSAFE in 2012, an additional focus has also been put on the trauma caused to train drivers and other frontline rail employees exposed to incidents on the network.
Last year there were over 4,000 near hits on the rail network resulting from pedestrians directly disobeying the law. Every one of these is just seconds away from a collision with potentially fatal consequences.
Despite the hard work of the rail industry over the last ten years, there are still unfortunately far too many deaths, injuries and near hits on the network. The rail industry can see that there is a long way to go but one thing that ten years of campaigns, events, and collaboration has made clear is that we cannot do this alone. That’s why this year we are putting the focus on the fact that rail safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Yes, we certainly can (and will) keep championing the rail safety cause but it is really up to you to own the message and share it with those you care about so that they, in turn can share it with someone else – and so on. That means, instead of scaring you with footage or hammering home the statistics this year, we are getting to the bottom of who exactly is responsible for rail safety.
This year, we asked a range of commuters and rail employees, as well as TrackSAFE Patron Tim Fischer AC, what rail safety means to them. To see their answers, click here! (Link to video)
If after you watch the video you find the (right) answer to be that everyone is responsible for rail safety, we invite you to join us in sharing that message not only during Rail Safety Week, but every day.