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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.

Over the past decade, there have been 232 crashes between trains and motor vehicles at railway level crossings around New Zealand. These have resulted in 95 deaths and 228 injuries.

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.

President of the College, Anne Kolbe said over 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.

NOTE:

Please note comments and corrections on statistics in this release.

The figures quoted in our earlier release were are taken from: the Official Website of the NZ Government. Ministerial Briefings 2002 – Land Transport Safety Authority. New figures have been inserted in this version.

The figures cited earlier related to fatalities and serious injuries on railway tracks throughout New Zealand from 1997 –2001. They covered fatalities and accidents at railway level crossings and other accidents and fatalities involving the category “person on tracks” this could be a person or persons crossing the railway track hit by a car or a train, or a suicide. They could involve people who are intoxicated or young people acting out on the railway line.

The confirmed LTSA figures specific to railway level crossings in the period 1997 – 2001 are: 31 fatalities and 19 serious accidents. In the past decade there have been 232 crashes between trains and motor vehicles at railway level crossings. These have resulted in 95 deaths and 228 injuries.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons remains committed to the introduction of effective measures to improve safety at railway level crossings.

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