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Surgeons call for elimination of level crossings

Surgeons call for elimination of level crossings

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is calling for a programme to eliminate level crossings in both New Zealand and Australia.

As part of a revised trauma policy launched today (7/4) RACS recommends that a programme eliminate level crossings be undertaken and that where this is not possible automatic boom gates, rumble strips, warning signs with flashing lights and speed restrictions zones be installed.

Between 1997 and 2001 there were 148 fatalities and 61 series injuries on railway level crossings in New Zealand.

The new policy has been released to coincide with the World Health Organisation’s World Road Trauma Day, which this year carries the message “road safety is no accident”.

RACS is also calling for all level crossings to be illuminated when in use; all railway cars and engines to be marked with appropriate reflector tape along the sides; greater monitoring of railway crossings which are used infrequently or seasonally and a driver education programme on the dangers of level crossings.

College President Anne Kolbe said more than 462 kiwis had died in the past year as a result of road accidents. She says this is a national tragedy and challenges all in the community to support every initiative to prevent the deaths and injury on the roads.

“World Trauma Day serves as a reminder that, although New Zealand and Australia have an enviable record in reducing road trauma, much more can be done to reduce road tolls and improve trauma outcomes,” she said.

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