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Manawatu-Wanganui: Level Crossing Collisions

Manawatu-Wanganui Worst Region for Level Crossing Collisions

Manawatu-Wanganui has had the highest number of level crossing collisions this year, with just under a third of all collisions occurring in that region.

There have been 16 vehicle collisions at level crossings this calendar year, with five of them in the Manawatu-Wanganui region. The next highest regions are Canterbury and Northland, with three collisions each.

While both Waikato and Auckland had one collision each, they both had 9 recorded near misses. There have been a total of 37 near collisions already in 2010 with collisions and/or near collisions in every region in the country.

“It is disturbing to see that the safety messages are obviously still not getting through to some road users, says Chris Cairns, Chairman of the Chris Cairns Foundation.

“There continues to be evidence of poor driving behaviour, and we urge motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to keep themselves, and their passengers, safe by adhering to the warning signs at level crossings.

“If the bells are ringing – people need to stop straight away, and if there are give way or stop signs, they must slow down, look for trains and make sure the line is clear before crossing.”

Hawkes Bay and Southland have had no reported collisions or near collisions at level crossings to date this year.

There have been no fatalities from vehicle level crossing collisions this year. However one person died at a pedestrian level crossing collision in the Bay of Plenty in April.

Since 2000 there have been 366 collisions between vehicles and trains at level crossings.

These latest statistics are released as part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day being held on Tuesday 22 June 2010.

The event is a worldwide effort at raising awareness about level crossing safety. Countries throughout Europe, Asia and North America are behind the campaign, with hundreds of awareness-raising events being held around the world.

The Chris Cairns Foundation was established in 2006 to educate and raise awareness about rail safety, particularly in relation to level crossings.

Former international test cricketer Chris Cairns formed the Foundation in memory of his sister Louise, who was killed in 1993 when a cement truck failed to stop at a level crossing and collided with the passenger train on which she was travelling.

ENDS

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