National Harm Prevention Charity, TrackSAFE Foundation, urges travellers to be mindful on the roads over the Christmas holidays, especially when it comes to level crossings.
According to Naomi Frauenfelder, TrackSAFE’s Executive Director, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should be alert, patient and vigilant when approaching level crossings at this busy time of year.
“As the end of the year draws to a close and the Christmas festivities begin, it is timely to remind travellers to stay safe on our rail network, particularly at level crossings. It only takes a second of inattention or rushing to reach your Christmas destination for tragedy to strike,” said Ms Frauenfelder.
“TrackSAFE is appealing to all –motorists, cyclists and pedestrians– to obey the rules and always remain alert around the rail network. There are 130 pedestrian level crossing incidents causing death or serious injury every year and an additional 20 collisions with vehicles.
“There are over 4,200 near hits across Australia every year resulting from trespass. Each near hit and collision has a profoundly traumatic and lasting impact on the train driver and crew involved. Such incidents see rail employees tragically exposed to trauma while simply doing their jobs; some of whom are unable to return to work thereafter.
“TrackSAFE is encouraging all to help keep this festive season alive by staying safe on our rail network. Please spare a thought this Christmas for those innocent rail employees who are suffering emotional, mental and physical trauma having been unwillingly involved in a near collision, incident or fatality on our network.
“Staying safe on our network is up to all of us in the community. Just like you, our rail employees want to make it home safely to their families this Christmas.” concluded Ms Frauenfelder.