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Lighting the way for safety at crossings

lighting crossing

A trial of innovative lighting infrastructure designed to increase driver awareness and reduce the associated risks for motorists and trains at railway level crossings is underway in regional NSW.

A new radar-activated LED stop sign and advanced warning signs, developed by SAGE Automation, have been installed at a level crossing on Mary Gilmore Way at Bribbaree in the state’s south west.

The LED advanced warning signs will also be installed at a level crossing at Blackwater Road in Narromine and the LED stop signs are being installed at a site on Dandaloo Road in Narromine.

There are more than 2700 level crossings in NSW, including 1347 on public roads, of these 925 are passively controlled by static stop or give way signage. From 2001 to 2021 there were 164 crashes at level crossings between trains and vehicles in NSW, resulting in 16 fatalities and 26 serious injuries.

The Smart Level Crossing Safety Technology Trial is a $1.8 million investment as part of the NSW Government’s $47m Smart Places Acceleration Program, through the Digital Restart Fund.

In addition to this trial, the NSW Government last month completed a speed limit review at 103 level crossings across regional NSW, reducing speeds from up to 110 kilometres per hour at some sites.

NSW regional transport and roads minister Jenny Aitchison said crashes at level crossings can have tragic outcomes, leaving families and communities devastated.

This lighting trial harnesses technology to improve visibility at these rural crossings with the aim to save lives.

“For years I’ve worked closely with Maddie Bott, who lost her fiancé Ethan at a crossing in 2021, and supported her petition to Parliament to make warning lights mandatory at level crossings in NSW,” Aitchinson said.

“The safety of road and rail users across our road network is a top priority, and after extensive investigations into making level crossings safer this flashing lights trial has been introduced.

“Transport for NSW selected three locations with characteristics typical of many regional level crossings to ensure a representative trial of the technology in varied conditions.

“The State Government is committed to ensuring improved level crossing safety in our regional communities and will continue to work closely with rail managers, rail operators, the Federal Government and councils.”