With the annual community awareness week, Rail Safety Week, happening later this month (12 – 18 August) senior representatives from the TrackSAFE Foundation, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and the Australasian Railway Association will today join the Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development to pre-launch the initiative to Federal and State governments at Parliament House, Canberra.
“Rail safety is a priority for the Federal Government. Maintaining cooperation and partnership across all levels of government is essential,” Mr McCormack said.
“We are continuing our record investment in urban and regional passenger rail infrastructure to ease congestion in our cities and ensure people can efficiently connect to regional centres. As part of this, the Government has committed $2 billion to help deliver fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne. We have also committed $9.3 billion to the Australian Rail Track Corporation for the full delivery of Inland Rail. The most important part in delivering these projects is ensuring safety – the safety of our workers, our operators, our passengers and our community,” Mr McCormack said.
According to Naomi Frauenfelder TrackSAFE Foundation Executive Director, Rail Safety Week acts as an important initiative to improve the publics’ knowledge, skills and attitudes towards rail safety.
“There are thousands of near hits and trespass incidents each year which involve individuals illegally crossing tracks, distracted by mobile devices or simply not paying enough attention to their surroundings. These seemingly innocuous actions can too often end in tragedy. Not only this, every incident on the network can cause profound and lasting trauma to the train driver and other rail employees involved.
“The rail industry urges the community to take responsibility around the rail network at all times, always remembering to follow the rules that are put in place to keep the public safe. We are delighted the Deputy Prime Minister is hosting today’s launch event of Rail Safety Week in Federal Parliament, allowing governments to wave the flag for rail safety and send important messages to constituents around the importance of exercising caution on the rail network,” said Ms Frauenfelder.
We all need to take responsibility when it comes to rail safety according to Sue McCarrey, Chief Executive of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and National Rail Safety Regulator.
“Rail Safety Week is an invaluable opportunity for the rail industry and the general public alike to recommit to a culture of safety and remind themselves how to stay safe on, and around our rail network. The reality is we all have a role to play in making sure people work and travel safely on our trains and I would encourage everyone to take a moment in the lead up to Rail Safety Week to ask themselves how they can contribute to improving safety on our railways. Australia has a good record when it comes to rail safety but complacency is the most serious threat to the enviable position we enjoy,” said Ms McCarrey.
Danny Broad, Australasian Railway Association Chief Executive Officer says the Rail Safety Week initiative acts as an important reminder for Australian and New Zealand communities.
“There is no greater priority than the safety of people on the rail system across Australia and New Zealand. Rail is one for the safest transport modes and we want to keep it that way. Rail Safety Week is where we focus the public’s mind on the importance of following safety rules, paying attention and using common sense when on the rail network,” said Mr Broad.
Rail Safety Week information: http://tracksafefoundation.com.au/rail-safety-week