MEDIA STATEMENT: 2 Feb 2016
Following today’s reports by Queensland Rail that near misses peak at the start of the school year, National Harm Prevention Charity, the TrackSAFE Foundation, urges all school students nation-wide to take extra care when heading back to school after the summer break.
“As school students are gearing up for a new school year, the TrackSAFE Foundation sends a national reminder to students and parents to understand the risks involved when standing on platforms, near railway lines, or at level crossings,” said Naomi Frauenfelder, Executive Director TrackSAFE Foundation.
“More than 250,000 Australian school students use the rail network to commute to school – largely unsupervised – everyday. Unfortunately students take risks near platform edges and at pedestrian crossings. Nationally we are seeing around 4,200 near hits every year. 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 again.
“There are a number of pedestrian signals, safety gates, warning sounds, signs, rules and regulations around our rail network to keep everyone safe. Trying to shave a minute or two off your commute by attempting to beat the train isn’t worth the risk; it could end in tragedy for all involved.
“TrackSAFE’s school’s initiative ‘Be on the Safe Side’ provides teachers with learning resources to conduct engaging student- centred lessons with various links to the Australian Curriculum which centre on rail safety. This free initiative provides consistency in rail safety education throughout Australia, and empowers students to improve their own and others’ safety when they are near trains and train tracks.
“TrackSAFE is encouraging all students to obey the rules and always remain alert around the rail network. No one wants to see their classmate, son or daughter, critically hurt or lost to a tragic rail incident that could have been avoided. Keep away from the platform edge and stand behind the yellow line, hop off your skateboard or bike at pedestrian crossings and wait until the safety signals have stopped flashing and it is safe to cross.
“We want to encourage more and more students to take the train to school every day, with each trip being an enjoyable and safe one,” said Ms Frauenfelder.
For more information on TrackSAFE’s education initiative ‘Be on the Safe Side’ please visit: http://www.tracksafeeducation.com.au/