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Nationwide rail safety campaign launched


Nationwide rail safety campaign launched

The rail industry believes that educating children about the dangers posed by railway traffic is the most effective means of reducing the number of accidents at pedestrian and road level crossings.

In a first, key organisations have joined forces in the interest of rail safety. Toll New Zealand, ONTRACK, New Zealand Police, Land Transport New Zealand, Connex, ARTNL and ARTA, today launched the latest in a series of nationwide rail safety education programme aimed at children aged eight to 11 years.

A rail safety programme has been working in schools since 1993. However the new campaign is the first industry wide approach and is to be launched this morning by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Helen Clark at Auckland’s, Kowhai Intermediate School in Mt Eden.

Tracks are for Trains has been developed to help children understand why rail tracks and trains are so dangerous and the importance of keeping off the track. The programme shows them safe behaviour at railway stations and level crossings.

It comprises lessons for children organised around three themes – “about train, about tracks and about us”. The kit comprises a teaching guide and resources that include a video, posters and a game. There is also a pamphlet for parents and caregivers.

The programme is being sent free of charge to more than 2000 primary and intermediate schools throughout New Zealand, which are situated near the rail network.

Level crossing collisions have declined from 47 in 1996 to 33 in the 2004 calendar year. However trespassers on the rail corridor are a major problem and one that railway operators take very seriously.

Over the past five years, 57 people were killed after being hit by trains while trespassing on the rail lines.

The group views the latest edition of the programme as a demonstration of their combined commitment to rail safety.

“We are committed to improving public safety around the rail network and helping teach children safe behaviour near railway tracks. However it is only with the support of local communities and by working in partnership with other organisations such as the police that we can hope to reduce these figures.”

Since Tracks are for Trains was first developed, its key safety messages remain unchanged

Trains are quiet

Trains are heavy

Trains take a long time to stop

Tracks are for trains only

Ends


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