Freight Rail, Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

International level crossing day recognised

Level Crossing Victoria. Photo: Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Wednesday, June 3, was International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), and the TrackSAFE Foundation was joined by Brookfield in recognising it.

TrackSAFE general manager Naomi Frauenfelder said that with incidents at level crossings still a regular occurrence in Australia, the theme for the ILCAD this year was ‘Take your time, don’t risk your life!’.

“Level crossing incidents are avoidable if people simply take their time and obey the warning signs and signals in place for their own safety,” Freauenfelder said.

“Every near hit and collision on the rail network causes severe and lasting trauma for train drivers and other rail employees involved.”

She said ILCAD was “an impressive initiative that brings global attention to level crossing safety”.

Frauenfelder noted that safety at level crossings remains one of the industry’s highest safety priorities, and praised the Victorian’ government’s plans to remove 50 of the most dangerous crossings from the state’s network over the next 8 years.

But she said there was still a need for more public knowledge of level crossing safety.

“It’s important that along with these infrastructure improvements, also come behavioural improvements which can only be achieved through education and awareness which is what campaigns like ILCAD set out to achieve.”

WA rail manager Brookfield also recognised the international event, with safety manager Adam Sidebottom noting there are about 70 incidents at level crossings on WA’s 5,500km freight network each year.

“On our train network, a train can weigh more than 14,000 tonnes and may be travelling at up to 90km per hour,” he said, “which means that cannot just stop quickly.

“In most cases, level crossing incidents can be easily avoided by people being vigilant in regards to their safety,” he said.