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Rail safety message reiterated

24 July 2007

ARTA and Veolia Transport reiterate rail safety message

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and its rail operator Veolia Transport support the efforts of the New Zealand rail industry to promote safety around the rail network during the first Australasian Rail Safety Week, running from 23 to 29 July.

Events promoting rail safety awareness will be taking place across Australia and New Zealand, with television advertisements, billboards and other activities emphasizing that motorists, pedestrians and cyclists need to take extreme care when entering or crossing the rail network.

In Auckland, rail operator Veolia Transport is undertaking a number of activities to support Rail Safety Week and highlight the message that tracks are for trains.

A localised Police in Cabs scheme is currently underway, allowing police officers to travel in the cabs of trains to monitor behaviour on the rail corridor. This education programme is aimed at identifying and addressing safety issues on the rail corridor and encouraging a close working relationship with local police.

A school safety awareness programme is also continuing during Rail Safety Week, with Veolia Transport health and safety advisors and drivers visiting local schools to promote key safety messages for schools and members of the community around the Auckland rail network.

In support of the school safety messages and Rail Safety Week, community constables will be present at targeted stations across the Auckland rail network during the school commuter peak period. The constables will assist in building rail safety awareness by offering rail safety advice.

Veolia Transport is also distributing Auckland-specific printed safety awareness brochures and displaying posters on trains and at stations. These have been funded by Land Transport New Zealand, and are in line with the New Zealand-wide campaigns supported by ONTRACK, Toll, NZ Police, Land Transport New Zealand and the Chris Cairns Foundation.

ARTA’s Chief Executive Fergus Gammie says, “Taking extra care around the rail corridor is becoming even more important as double tracking on the Western Line continues. Pedestrians and motorists now need to be even more careful near stations, use level and pedestrian crossings at all times and be sure to look both ways when crossing a track, as having two tracks means that two trains are in operation. Walking on the tracks, except at proper crossings, is illegal.

“ARTA and Veolia Transport are working proactively with ONTRACK, Land Transport New Zealand, the NZ Police and local councils to ensure safety around the rail corridor and to do everything they can to ensure the prevention of accidents in the rail corridor,” says Mr Gammie.

ENDS

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