Level crossing safety on the agenda at AGQUIP

20 August 2019

Regional communities are being reminded of the dangers of racing trains at level crossings at AgQuip 2019 this week.

Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Transport Stephen Bromhead said Transport for NSW had partnered with NSW TrainLink and Australian Rail Track Corporation to show the risks of not paying attention at level crossings.

“Despite the obvious danger, too many motorists continue to take risks around level crossings, which is why we are reaching out to warn communities about the dangers,” Mr Bromhead said.

“TfNSW’s display will include a car that was involved in a collision with a train and a large LED screen displaying interviews with train drivers.

“It will also feature warning signs and lights found at level crossings so visitors can better identify the equipment.”

Between July 2008 and June 2019 there were 72 collisions between trains and road vehicles at level crossings, which resulted in eight fatalities.

More than 100 near misses were reported each year between 2008 and 2019 at level crossings throughout the State.

Mr Bromhead said although incidents have declined in recent years, the goal was to have zero crashes at level crossings.

“There is never a good excuse to play chicken with a train. With up to 450 tonnes of metal and nowhere to go, a car will always come off second best in a collision,” Mr Bromhead said.

“Trains can travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour and can take 1.5 kilometres to come to complete stop. This often means by the time a train driver sees you, it’s too late.

“We all have a duty of care when driving, not only for ourselves, passengers and other road users, but also train passengers and crew.”

AgQuip is Australia’s largest agricultural event and takes place during Rural Road Safety Month, an Australian Road Safety Foundation initiative supported by TfNSW.

A second TfNSW display at AgQuip will focus on heavy vehicle safety with Transport staff and NSW Police providing information and advice.

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