On Track For A Safe Rail And School Environment
The school term is underway, and rail safety is at the top of the list.
This week Hurunui District Council (HDC) partnered up with local first responders Kiwi Rail, TrackSAFE, Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, St John, and members of the school’s communities who have railway crossings – Amberley School and Waipara School, to practice rail safety together.
Dean Eades, Road Safety Coordinator for HDC, said the interactive education sessions which coincided with the first couple of days back in the classroom received a great turn out.
Students and parents/care givers learned about safe walking and driving behaviour around railway crossings and railway lines.
Coincidentally, during one of the sessions a freight train passed by.
“It proves a point that you need to be aware at all times around railway tracks,” said Dean, adding that it takes just a few important tips to keep safe.
He said trains are very big, and travel at various speeds depending if they’re in an urban or rural setting.
“Don’t underestimate their power or speed. Trains can take a long time to stop, whatever speed they’re going, sometimes taking hundreds of meters in some cases, depending on their length.”
Remember that level crossings are there for a reason, and taking shortcuts is never a good idea.
“Look and listen in both directions and remember to wait until all warning signs and bells have stopped before crossing – there may be a second train.”
Dean is looking forward to further TrackSAFE education sessions with the schools in 2021.