Yesterday’s collision between a train and a truck in Victoria’s south-west has prompted National Harm Prevention Charity, the TrackSAFE Foundation, to remind the community to be safe and aware when near level crossings.
“The incident in which 19 people were injured is a timely reminder for motorists to take extreme care when anywhere near the rail network.
The damage caused by a single level crossing incident between a train and a heavy vehicle has been, and will continue to be, the single most costly incident in terms of potential loss of life and economic impact for the rail industry,” said Bob Herbert, Chairman of the TrackSAFE Foundation.
“Australia's rail network is the sixth largest in the world, with 44,000km of track and 23,500 level crossings across the network.
There are around 150 level crossing collisions causing death or serious injury each year. Such incidents see rail employees tragically exposed to trauma while simply doing their jobs; some of whom are unable to return to work again.
“Through TrackSAFE, the rail industry continues to drive education and awareness initiatives in Australia and New Zealand as level crossing collisions remain of serious concern for the industry.
TrackSAFE recently held a Level Crossing Safety Forum where over 90 delegates from rail, government, police, road user groups, representative bodies, universities and the national regulator came together to address level crossing safety.
“The top 50 innovations, enforcement and technological solutions to level crossing safety were tabled and workshopped by delegates at the Forum as a matter of urgency.
TrackSAFE strives to see major infrastructure improvements, along with behavioural improvements when it comes to level crossing safety.
“This incident late yesterday is a reminder that trains simply cannot stop quickly. As serious as this incident is, the consequences of those involved could have been more catastrophic; we are thankful it wasn’t,” said Mr Herbert.