The TrackSAFE Foundation has urged Australians to be vigilant on the roads and near level crossings, to avoid their Christmas break ending in tragedy this year.
TrackSAFE Board Director Bryan Nye emphasised just how important it is for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to be observant when approaching level crossings at this busy time of year on our roads.
“With huge numbers of Australians heading home or away for the Christmas holidays, roads will be crowded and people will be eager to reach their destinations,” said Mr Nye.
“It takes just seconds of not paying attention or rushing to get away for your Christmas holiday to end in tragedy.
“Australia's rail network is the sixth largest in the world, with 44,000km of track and 23,500 level crossings across the network,” Mr Nye continued
“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.
“It is vital to always obey level crossings signs and signals. A train clearly cannot stop in time and if you take a risk at a level crossing it could be your last,” he said.
Every single near collision, incident, and fatality on the rail network has a profound and lasting impact on the train driver and crew involved. TrackSAFE encourages Australians to spare a thought for rail employees who just like everyone else want to get home safely to their families this Christmas.
“When members of the public go to take a risk at a level crossing, they are failing to realise the impact their actions have on the person driving the train,” Mr Nye continued.
“Please stop and think before taking an unnecessary risk at a level crossing.
“Just like you, rail employees too want to make it home safely this Christmas,” Mr Nye concluded.