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Number of pedestrian-train collisions a tragedy

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Copeland: Number of pedestrian-train collisions a tragedy

United Future MP and transport spokesman, Gordon Copeland, wants greater pressure brought to bear on Toll New Zealand to require the company to provide better warning systems at level crossings.

Figures released today to Mr Copeland from the Minister of Transport, in response to Parliamentary questions, show that in the last five years, 9 people have died as a result of injuries sustained from pedestrian-train collisions at level crossings, while 49 pedestrians, who trespassed on the rail corridor and were struck by a train, have died.

"Far too many level crossing tragedies occur every month. I am very concerned that the numbers released today only include one type of accident and highlight only one of the problems caused by the lack of warning systems at most level crossings.

"There is no explicit responsibility upon Toll NZ to provide clear indications of when their trains are approaching level crossings.

"Anecdotal evidence states that trains are failing to sound their horns or even have their headlight on when approaching level crossings.

"It is my belief that amendments to the Railways Act 2005 must occur in order to ensure that the licensed access provider must erect protection at level crossings.

"Thousands of cars and trucks cross the rail corridor every day and every injury and fatality that occurs because of this is a tragedy.

"I look forward to seeing the Ministry of Transport's new safety targets and will lobby the Minister to ensure that he knows how United Future feels on this issue," said Mr Copeland.


Table for written question 02544
| Year |Level crossing, pedestrian| Trespasser vs train | Total |
| | vs train collisions | collisions | Fatalities |
| 2001 | 1 | 12 | 13 |
| 2002 | 2 | 8 | 10 |
| 2003 | 2 | 15 | 17 |
| 2004 | 3 | 5 | 8 |
| 2005 | 1 | 9 | 10 |
| Total | 9 | 49 | 58 |

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