No room for risk at level crossings


NSW TrainLink drivers have issued a powerful warning to regional road users. 

“When you hit the emergency brakes it can take up to 14 football fields to stop, you can’t swerve, you can’t do anything, the train will just stop when it stops.”

The emotive message is part of the latest road safety campaign launched this week by the NSW Government to remind road users about the risks at level crossings.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole said the message is a simple one, there is no excuse for putting lives on the line by trying to race a train.

“Despite the serious dangers, the prospect of a $464 fine and the loss of three demerit points we are still seeing too many near misses at level crossings,” Mr Toole said.

“We have flashing lights, boom gates and road markings at level crossings for good reason, and drivers, riders and pedestrians need to pay attention, take extreme care and watch out for trains.” 

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the emotional pleas from NSW TrainLink drivers in the latest safety advertisements remind road users of the pain near misses and collisions cause our train drivers and frontline crew.

“Trains can weigh up to 500 tonnes, travel up to 160 kilometres per hour and are unable to swerve or turn – which means by the time they see you, it’s often too late,” Mr Constance said. 

“Ask yourself this; are the minutes you might save rushing across the tracks worth risking the years you could lose?”

Between 2005 and 2020 there were 32 crashes involving a train and vehicle at level crossings across NSW resulting in nine fatalities and 11 serious injuries.

Mr Toole said whether it’s a freight or a passenger train the majority of level crossing close calls occur in regional areas, and the difference between a near miss and a fatal collision is sometimes just a matter of seconds.

“Following a bumper harvest and other COVID demands, our freight lines are as busy as ever, so even if you think you know the train schedule remember the rail corridor is no place for complacency - a single moment of distraction may cost a life,” Mr Toole said.

The new level crossing safety advertisements will run across regional cinemas and social media starting this week.

**Download vision link includes CCTV & latest safety campaign advertisements: