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The world pays extra attention to level crossing safety

The world pays extra attention to level crossing safety today

National rail safety charity TrackSAFE NZ is encouraging all New Zealanders to join the rest of the world when out and about today, and be safe and aware when near level crossings.

Today is the sixth International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD).

TrackSAFE NZ Board Director Bryan Nye OAM said that with incidents at level crossings still a regular occurrence in this country, the theme for this year’s ILCAD was an apt one.

“This year’s theme of "Saving Lives at Level Crossings – A price too high to pay” shines light on the serious issue of ongoing unsafe behaviour by drivers at level crossings,” said Mr Nye.

“There have been 11 level crossing collisions this year already in New Zealand, and sadly four people have lost their lives. “

“There are hundreds of additional near collisions every year which have a huge effect on locomotive engineers (train drivers). Every near collision is just seconds away from becoming a disaster and where a large truck and fully loaded passenger train are involved, the outcome is potentially catastrophic.

“International Level Crossing Awareness Day is an impressive initiative that brings global attention to level crossing safety which continues to be one of the rail industry’s major safety concerns,” Mr Nye continued.

“We continue to drive education and awareness campaigns in New Zealand and Australia as level crossing collisions are consistently shown to be the direct result of driver behaviour and failure to observe warning signs and signals.

“Trains always have right of way and simply cannot stop quickly. It is up to road users to obey the law and respect the rules at level crossings. Spare a moment to think about the person driving the train.

“We commend the organisers of ILCAD on this valuable initiative and encourage organisations across New Zealand, Australia and the world to support the day,” concluded Mr Nye.

ends

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