Each year, people across Australia are killed because they haven’t obeyed warning signs at railway lines. Others are lucky – escaping with their lives in a ‘near hit’.
National Rail Safety Week “Near Miss … Near Hit”, running from today until Sunday, 17 August, is highlighting the risks at level crossings, by reminding people that a so-called ‘near miss’ is actually a ‘near hit’.
National research points to nearly 1000 ‘near hit’ incidents a year – lives that were a split second away from being lost.
This week in South Australia, police are running Operation Rail Safe to highlight those risks at local railway tracks and crossings.
Train drivers have identified eight metropolitan and nine rural level crossings which see a high level of risky behaviour.
The train drivers nominated crossings where they regularly notice pedestrians not heeding warning signs and signals, taking shortcuts on railway lines, being distracted by listening to music or on the phone.
Senior Sergeant Michael Flori, from Transit Services Branch, says police will be paying extra attention to those high risk level crossings during the Operation.
“We’ll be using a highly visible, intercept style of policing in locations, at the times with the highest traffic and rail volumes, so we can reach as many pedestrians as possible around railway tracks,” he said.
In metropolitan Adelaide, the peak rail activity occurs between 7am and 9am and 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.
“Specifically, police will target people who disobey warnings signs and signals, through inattention, distraction or contempt for the law,” he said.
“Not being alert when crossing train tracks can cost you your life. Listening to music on earphones or talking on the phone when crossing tracks adds to the danger.
“Those who gamble with trains, whether they’re in a vehicle, bicycle or on foot, risk their lives and cause unnecessary stress and trauma for the train operators.
“Trains cannot stop quickly and always have right of way – they also cannot swerve to avoid you.
“Our message is stay off the tracks, cross at proper crossings and always remain alert – your life depends on it.”
High risk crossings identified by train drivers:
|High risk metro crossings||High risk rural crossings|
|Torrens Road, Ovingham||Karonie crossing, Two Wells|
|Tapleys Hill Rd, Seaton||Elizabeth Street, Two Wells|
|Park Terrace, Salisbury||RM Williams Way, Jamestown|
|Woodville Road, Woodville||Quorn Road, Stirling North|
|Bedford Ave, Devon Park||Harris Street, Stirling North|
|Korunye Road, Korunye||Hospital Road, Port Augusta|
|Grange Road, Hawthorn||Mannum Road, Murray Bridge|
|Cormack Rd, Wingfield||Coonalpyn siding, Coonalpyn|
|Keith yard, Keith|