AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Rail Safety Week well underway

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Australia’s annual awareness drive for rail safety is currently underway, with a number of key rail organisations and companies making safety their focus this week. </span> <p>Rail Safety Week is an Australasian Railway Association (ARA) and TrackSAFE initiative, and has been running since 2006.</p><p>So far several key organisations have announced their own activities as part of the week, including both Aurizon, Brookfield Rail and Pacific National.</p><p>Aurizon train drivers are using a new video to plead with motorists to take more care at level crossings and near railway lines. The video is available <a href="">here</a>.</p><p>The hard-hitting video shows a number of Aurizon drivers discussing the dangers present at level crossings, in an effort to improve motorist awareness.</p><p>“It can take a freight train up to two kilometres to stop and they can’t sweve and miss a vehicle on the tracks,” Aurizon’s head of safety, health and environment, Neil Backer, said.</p><p>Pacific National, usually finding itself in direct competition with Aurizon, stood in lock-step on the issue.</p><p>PN this week launched a campaign aimed at educating school children about the importance of safety around railway tracks.</p><p>Brookfield Rail, meanwhile, teamed up with Aurizon to launch a school campaign of their own.</p><p>The two companies are visiting primary and secondary schools, as well as sporting clubs, with rail safety ambassador Jonathan Beninca this week.</p><p>The TrackSAFE Foundation used the week to push its message to motorists, of STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, THINK – a campaign which is being used consistently across all of the companies’ campaigns.</p><p>ARA chief executive and TrackSAFE director, Bryan Nye, said he could not put enough emphasis on the importance of people remaining aware and vigilant around railway lines, level crossings and train stations.</p><p>“Railway safety remains one of the industry’s highest safety priorities with Australia’s rail network being the sixth largest in the world, with 44,000km of track and 23,500 level crossings,” Nye said.</p><p>“On this network there are a reported 5,000 trespass incidents, 70 level crossing collisions, around 180 fatalities and thousands of near misses every year, all are a direct result of taking risks and disobeying the rules around railway lines and level crossings.</p><p>“Rail is the safest form of land transport. The issue is behavioral – when people go to take risks around railway lines they fail to realise that trains always have right of way and simply cannot stop quickly.</p><p>“Every single death or injury on the rail network is avoidable if people obey the rules, we therefore simply cannot afford to let this issue fall off the radar,” he concluded.</p>