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TrackSAFE names states? 10 worst level crossings

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Rail safety organisation TrackSAFE has revealed a bottom 10 list of level crossings, according to train drivers, for six of the nation’s states. </span> <p>TrackSAFE is using the lists to lobby state and federal transport ministers to increase funding for the upgrade of the crossings on each list.</p><p>“It is the train drivers who go over the same stretch of track day in, day out, over many years who know where the most risky level crossings are,” TrackSAFE director Bryan Nye said.</p><p>“Level crossing upgrades must remain on the political agenda for the good of our rail employees and the greater public.”</p><p>TrackSAFE foundation manager Naomi Frauenfelder told Rail Express that the organisation conducted the survey to allow train drivers to help inform the debate.</p><p>“As part of releasing the list, we want to directly alert the local communities and local police in the area to pay attention to these crossings which may not have received attention in the past,” she said.</p><p>“In the longer term, if we hope to secure greater funding for level crossing upgrades.”</p><p>TrackSAFE named the 10 ‘worst’ crossings, according to the survey, for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.</p><p>South east NSW town Culcairn had two crossings in the state’s list: one on Taylors Road, and another just 6km south, on Benambra Road.</p><p>And the north west Hobart suburb Glenorchy had three entries on Tasmania’s bottom 10, all on the same stretch of track, within 1.5km of each other.</p><p>There are around 35 deaths each year as a result of level crossing incidents, according to TrackSAFE.</p><p>TrackSAFE board member and national secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union Bob Nanva explained the hidden impacts of such incidents.</p><p>“Most train drivers will witness a fatality, incident or near collision on the network in the course of their careers,” he said. “Too many will never be able to return to work.”</p><p>Nye, who is also the CEO of the Australasian Railway Association, added to Nanva’s statement of concern.</p><p>“Approaching level crossings can be a significant source of anxiety for drivers who have witnessed countless near collisions at them,” he said.</p><p>“The more promptly risky level crossings are upgraded, the sooner drivers will feel safer at work.”</p><p>Australian Automobile Association executive director Andrew McKellar, also a member of the TrackSAFE board, weighed in, advocated the elimination of level crossings on busy roads across the country.</p><p>“The best way of avoiding crashes between cars and trains is to get rid of level crossings,” he said. “Governments must commit to prioritising the replacement of level crossings with bridges or underpasses on busy roads.”</p><p>A full list of each state’s worst 10 level crossings, according to train drivers, is available on the TrackSAFE website: <a href="http://www.tracksafefoundation.com.au">www.tracksafefoundation.com.au</a></p>