Harm prevention charity, the TrackSAFE Foundation, welcomes new legislation passed in Western Australia’s Parliament yesterday, which sees significant increases in penalties for trespassing on the rail network.
Western Australia’s Transport Minister The Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA introduced the Government Railways Amendment Bill 2019 to State Parliament to increase fines for trespass offenders on the tracks from $200 to a maximum of $5000.
“The TrackSAFE Foundation applauds the Western Australia Government for taking a proactive approach to increase penalties for those who trespass on rail property – including those who train surf – it sends a clear message that this behaviour is totally unacceptable,” said Naomi Frauenfelder Executive Director TrackSAFE Foundation.
“Engaging in such risky behaviour as trespass and train surfing can result in serious injury or death. Not only this, these dangerous activities can cause trauma for those who witness such events, including train drivers, rail staff and community members.
“The numbers of trespass leading to incidents and near hits on the rail network is alarming. With every incident, there is the potential for severe and lasting trauma to manifest for the train driver and other rail employees involved.
“While Western Australia has taken the first step to introduce harsher penalties to deter people from taking illegal risks on the tracks, we now call upon all other States and Territories with low penalties to follow suit to achieve national consistency on the matter. Such a move will work to see people think twice before they risk their lives and the lives of others on the rail network,” said Ms Frauenfelder.