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ATA and NHVR join to issue national level crossing safety notice

The ATA and NHVR have combined to launch a new national level crossing safety notice for heavy vehicle drivers

In a joint bid to enhance road safety, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have issued a safety notice to help truck drivers remain vigilant at level crossings.

The National Level Crossing Safety Notice issued by the two bodies is set to remind heavy vehicle drivers of the life-saving safety measures they need to adhere to around rail lines.

ATA CEO Mathew Munro says the safety notice is a part of a shared commitment to reducing fatalities and injuries at the more than 20,000 level crossings intersecting with roads and pathways across the country.

“Between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2022, there were 39 lives lost and 49 serious injuries at Australia’s rail crossings,” Munro says.

“These aren’t just numbers; these are people who didn’t made it home safely to their loved ones.

“There have also been thousands of near misses at rail crossings. We’re putting out a unified reminder for truck drivers to prioritise not only their own safety, but the safety of their fellow road users and rail workers. There’s no room to take risks when it comes to trains.”

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says level crossings presented unique challenges for heavy vehicles, meaning drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and avoid any distraction when approaching rail lines.

“Trucks don’t have the same stopping time as lighter vehicles, so it’s critical all heavy vehicle drivers take extra caution around the tracks,” Petroccitto says.

“The National Level Crossing Safety Notice includes simple do’s and don’ts for drivers to remember. These include reducing speed and checking blind spots before crossing, adhering to any warning signs, boom gates and lights, and assessing the road condition.

“It’s imperative for truck drivers not to become complacent; a momentary lapse in concentration or judgement can be fatal.”

Even with efficient braking systems, Petroccitto says it takes a “considerable amount of time” for a train to stop, especially when travelling at high speeds.

“Taking a risk at a level crossing is never worth it, and, by following the guidelines in the safety alert, we can collectively reduce the likelihood of tragedy occurring and ensure all road users reach their destination safely,” Petroccitto says.

You can find the National Level Crossing Safety Notice here.

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