Collisions down, but more work to be done


New figures show decline in level crossing incidents, but Australian Rail Safety and Standards Board says more work is needed

By Ruza Zivkusic | November 10, 2010

New half-yearly figures from Australian Rail Safety Occurrence Data show a record low of road vehicle collisions at level crossings across Australia.

According to the numbers, there were 21 collisions from January to June 2010 – one less than the previous half year. It is the lowest recorded in the past decade.

But 21 accidents were still too many, according to the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board General Manager Kevin Taylor.

"I’m not saying we’re on top of it, by no stretch of the imagination. Until we have zero fatalities then we’re on top of it," Taylor says.

"The rail industry is not complacent on these issues because one accident is an accident too many and it’s very tragic when someone dies as a consequence."

Improved awareness of safety at level crossings has helped lower the number of collisions in recent years, he adds.

"The railway industry is working very hard to try and educate the Australian public on the dangers of level crossings and the Australian Trucking Association is working harder with its drivers to increase awareness of truck drivers at level crossings." Taylor says.

"That is one of our greatest concerns because a truck colliding with a train has greater impact than a car colliding with a train."

With a busy Christmas season ahead, Taylor has urged drivers to take extra care when approaching level crossings.

"Railway level crossing is the industry’s highest safety priority which has become so in 2004; we are sending one message and that is please look after your selves at level crossing," he says.

The highest number of accidents at level crossings is 45, recorded in the second half of 2003.


New half-yearly figures from Australian Rail Safety Occurrence Data show a record low of road vehicle collisions at level crossings across Australia.According to the numbers, there were 21 collisions from January to June 2010 – one less than the previous half year. It is the lowest recorded in the past decade.But 21 accidents were still too many, according to the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board General Manager Kevin Taylor."I’m not saying we’re on top of it, by no stretch of the imagination. Until we have zero fatalities then we’re on top of it," Taylor says."The rail industry is not complacent on these issues because one accident is an accident too many and it’s very tragic when someone dies as a consequence."Improved awareness of safety at level crossings has helped lower the number of collisions in recent years, he adds."The railway industry is working very hard to try and educate the Australian public on the dangers of level crossings and the Australian Trucking Association is working harder with its drivers to increase awareness of truck drivers at level crossings." Taylor says."That is one of our greatest concerns because a truck colliding with a train has greater impact than a car colliding with a train."With a busy Christmas season ahead, Taylor has urged drivers to take extra care when approaching level crossings."Railway level crossing is the industry’s highest safety priority which has become so in 2004; we are sending one message and that is please look after your selves at level crossing," he says. The highest number of accidents at level crossings is 45, recorded in the second half of 2003.

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