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Stop Look And Live!

Stop Look And Live!

New Zealanders are being urged to “stop, look and live” at rail crossings as part of Australasian Rail Safety Awareness Week, running from today (July 21) through to July 27.

Events aimed at improving safety and reducing trespassing around rail tracks will be taking place across Australia and New Zealand throughout the week. Advertising and other activities in New Zealand will promote the “stop, look and live” theme, urging motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to take extreme care when entering or crossing the rail network.

A series of hard-hitting television advertisements featuring accident scenarios at level crossings and illegal track crossings went to air last night and will run throughout the week.

The advertisements are supported by KiwiRail, ONTRACK, Veolia, the Ministry of Transport, Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Greater Wellington Regional Council, the Chris Cairns Foundation and Land Transport NZ.

“Our message is simple - tracks are only for trains. Even a moment’s inattention around the rail network can lead to tragedy, and trains cannot stop quickly or swerve. People need to think about their actions around the rail network,” said Simon Whiteley, Acting Chief Executive of Land Transport NZ.

Mr Whiteley said rail traffic would continue to grow in New Zealand, particularly in urban metro centres like Auckland and Wellington. Trespass was also a significant issue, particularly in Auckland, where double tracking and increased train frequency is contributing to safety concerns at the large numbers of people who illegally cross tracks.

“We need to raise awareness that inattention at a railway crossing can have catastrophic consequences.”

Chris Cairns will feature in several rail safety awareness activities, including a launch event at Rolleston school near Christchurch, and the unveiling of a billboard at Ngaruawahia featuring crosses representing the number of people who have died in collisions with trains.

The safety message will also be reinforced with college students on Auckland Metro trains, and by school visits throughout the week in Auckland by a Veolia train driver and the company’s safety manager.

Police in Wellington will undertake high profile local policing and education around trespass hot spots later in the week, while heritage railway operators are supporting the rail safety theme with open days in Christchurch and Dunedin.

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