Rail Safety Week focuses on joint responsibility

Industry members renew education calls at the start of Rail Safety Week with ‘everyone’s responsible’ message

Rail Safety Week focuses on joint responsibility
Aurizon backs Rail Safety Week.


Members of the Australian rail industry have come together to promote Rail Safety Week, a national initiative to improve rail crossings and track safety awareness.

With 150 fatal or serious injury accidents occurring across Australia’s 23,500 level crossings every year, industry body TrackSafe is focusing the initiative’s tenth year on the responsibility, with both the community and those in the industry needing to reflect on how behave near tracks and trains.

Running until August 16, TrackSafe Foundation general manager Naomi Frauenfelder says "it is critical that the impetus and ownership be supported by the commuting public".

"Each person values what rail does for them and respects the safety measures put in place to ensure that their lives, and the lives of those around them, are kept out of harm’s way," Frauenfelder says.

Hoping to make an impact during the week, the rail body has unveiled a video which asks a range of community and industry members to describe what safety means to them.

"Whether going to go to work, to school, on holiday or visiting friends and family, everyone deserves to get there and back safely, and that is what this video promotes," Frauenfelder says.

Rail freight company Aurizon is also making a community push, releasing its own video urging Australians to stay off the tracks and to 'stop, look, listen and think'.

Aurizon's vice president of safety, health and environment, Neil Backer, says one person dies every 10 days at a level crossing.

"This statistic is unacceptable," he says. 

"There is no reason we should have any incidents at a level crossing." 

"This video is a great resource and I encourage you to watch it and share it with your friends and family.

"Not only can these incidents have a devastating effect on the person involved but are extremely traumatic for our train drivers and their families."

This impact on employees is increasing the number of rail organisations becoming involved in awareness programs, such as Rail Safety Week, Frauenfelder adds.

"Over the years, more and more rail organisations have become involved in this community awareness initiative by visiting schools, holding competitions, running advertising campaigns, and ultimately increasing awareness of the importance of rail safety."

"Every single death or injury on the rail network is avoidable if people obey the signs and signals and always exercise caution."

Also among the activities scheduled throughout the week, police in South Australia will be handing out metro card ticket holders with safety messages at stations.


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