Motorists, pedestrians

Motorists

Pearly gates campaign image

Some trains can take up to 14 rugby fields to stop at a level crossing

Which means that even  if trains can see you, they can’t stop.

Train schedules are unpredictable and have different timetables week to week so look for approaching trains and obey the signs and flashing lights.

If you ignore the signs or flashing lights, you not only risk a $433 fine and three demerit points, but your next crossing may be your last.

Take care at level crossings.

Don’t rush to the other side.

Crossing at a level crossing

Stop, look, listen and cross

STOP:

Always obey all signs, flashing lights, boom gates and line markings. Be prepared to STOP or GIVE WAY at all times – never assume a train is not coming.

Trains can run at any time, day or night and in either direction.

  • If  the lights  are flashing, do not enter the crossing. Wait for the  lights  to stop flashing before you drive across the railway tracks.
  • If boom gates are going up or going down never drive under or around these gates as an oncoming train is close to the crossing or a second train may be approaching. Wait until the boom gates fully rise before you drive across the railway tracks.
  • If a boom gate is down, do not drive around the gate as it is extremely dangerous and it is very likely the oncoming train is close to the crossing.

LOOK:

Once a train has passed always check both directions to see if another one is coming before crossing. If traffic ahead is stopped, stay behind the STOP line until you are sure there is enough room for your vehicle to get all the way across safely. If the road on the other side of the tracks is congested, do not drive across until there is plenty of room for you to do so safely. Never queue on a level crossing.

LISTEN:

You may not always hear a train coming so never assume that a train is a long way off.

CROSS:

Once you are confident there are no trains approaching and you think it is safe to cross, proceed with caution.

Weather

  • The weather also affects conditions at level crossings. Wet weather affects your braking; fog affects your ability to see a train in the distance as does looking into a rising or setting sun.

Private/farm crossings

  • These level crossings provide access to a private property and are usually gated. When entering or leaving a property, never park your vehicle on the tracks while you close the gate behind you. In the time it takes you to open and close a gate, a train can be upon you.

Don’t assume

Trains do not always run to timetable. Trains can travel from both directions so never assume that:

  • Because you have crossed plenty of times before with no train in sight there won’t be a train this time.
  • Because you’re running late and in a hurry it is safe to cross this time without stopping.
  • Another train won’t come after a train has passed.
  • It is no big deal to cross at a level crossing.
  • You know when the train is due at a level crossing. Some trains don’t run to timetable.

So please obey the rules and stay safe.

Pedestrians

level crossing

  • A pedestrian crossing a rail line is like any other pedestrian crossing. You must obey the safety signs as it's the only way you will remain safe when crossing.Unlike cars, trains can't stop quickly and they can't swerve to avoid you.
  • Trains can operate at any time, day or night, and in either direction. Where there are two tracks one train may have stopped at the station, but another one may be on its way in the opposite direction. Please do not enter the crossing until the lights have stopped flashing or the gate has opened. You may not see or hear the train travelling in the opposite direction.
  • You can be sure that a train is coming if the lights are flashing or if the gate is closed, so please, obey the rules and stay safe.

The following are examples of campaign messages for pedestrians.

Stop, look, listen and think

STOP: Make sure you cross railway lines at marked crossings only. Be sure to stay on the path and stay safe by looking and listening in both directions for approaching trains.

  • If there is a maze (chicane) always approach it cautiously. If a train is coming wait for it to pass, and then stop, look and listen again before crossing as another train may be approaching.
  • If red lights are flashing, please do not enter the crossing. Wait for lights to stop flashing before walking across the railway tracks.
  • If the swing gate is closing, never walk around it as this means an oncoming train is close to the crossing or a second train may be approaching. Wait until the swing gates fully open before walking across the railway tracks.
  • If the swing gate is closed, never jump fences, gates or barriers - this is extremely dangerous and it is very likely the oncoming train is close to the crossing.

LOOK: If a train is coming, please wait for it to pass and then stop, look and listen again before crossing as another train may be approaching..

LISTEN: You might not hear a train when using your earphones or phone. Sound can be deceptive, especially at night, so never assume a train is a long way off.

THINK: Always obey all the warning signs. Please don't ride bicycles, skateboards or skates across any pedestrian crossing.

For wheelchair users; prams, strollers and cyclists

  • There is a gap at level crossings for train wheels. Wheelchairs, mobility aids, prams and strollers should therefore always cross the rails at right angles to the track so that their wheels do not get trapped in this gap.
  • Cyclists should dismount and walk across the tracks.

Children crossing railway lines

  • It is important that children are taught that trains cannot stop quickly or swerve like a car to miss hitting something - and why it's so important that children always cross at marked level crossings and obey the warning signals. As children can be forgetful it's up to you to keep reminding everyone in your family to be careful and not to take any risks.
  • For children up to ten years, please hold their hand when crossing rail lines.

Community awareness campaign for pedestrians

RailCorp research into community attitudes indicates that there is pedestrian complacency and high-risk behaviour at pedestrian level crossings. This makes pedestrian safety education crucial.

Pedestrian community awareness campaigns are designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Increase awareness of the importance of obeying rules at level crossings
  • Create awareness of the dangers caused by illegally entering a level crossing, and
  • Increase safe behaviour of pedestrians using level crossings.