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Level Crossing Accidents on the Decline

For immediate release
6 July 2006


Level Crossing Accidents on the Decline

Toll NZ (rail operator) and Ontrack (owner of the rail network) are delighted that all the hard work they have put into rail safety this year appears to be showing signs of having paid dividends.

There were only 3 public road level crossing collisions in the 3 months to 30 June 2006. This number of collisions was 6 below the previous 10-year average for the quarter and 6 below the same period in 2005.

The average number of public road level crossing collisions per month has now been trending downwards for 5 months in a row. This is the first time that such a sustained downward trend has occurred for over 5 years.

Based on the very good results for the first two quarters and taking into account seasonal variations, at this stage the end of the (calendar) year total for public road collisions may end up around half the average for the last 10 years.

Both Toll NZ and Ontrack have put extensive effort into making people more aware of the dangers of ignoring the road rules around level crossings.

Also Toll Rail and the Police earlier this year launched the Police in Cabs scheme whereby police travel in the cabs of trains to nab offenders first hand who ignore the warnings at crossings that a train is approaching.

This scheme was launched with the support of high profile cricketer Chris Cairns whose sister Louise died after a truck went through a crossing and hit the train she was a passenger in.

Both Ontrack and Toll says despite these heartening figures they will not ease back on their continuing campaign to promote rail safety.

ENDS

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