Stay level headed at level crossings

Published

Motorists in the Central West Region who gamble with their safety at level crossings could face three demerit points and a $457 fine as part of a two-week blitz led by Transport for NSW and NSW Police.

Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon said there was no excuse for putting yours and other lives on the line at level crossings.

“Trains can travel at speeds of up to 160 km/hr and can take up to 14 football fields (1.5km) to come to a stop at a level crossing”, Mr Carlon said.

“What this means, is often by the time they see you, it’s too late. It’s important for drivers, riders and pedestrians to obey all signs, flashing lights, boom gates and markings.

“We all have a duty of care when driving, not only for ourselves, passengers and other road users, but also train passengers and crew.

“Between July 2008 and June 2019 there were 72 collisions between trains and cars at level crossings, resulting in eight fatalities. All of which could have been easily avoided.”

Due to the speed and mass of a train, an impact with a motor vehicle at a level crossing can have catastrophic consequences.

Police officers will patrol three level crossings in Molong from Monday 14 to Friday 25 October to ensure road and rail users remain safe. In the past two years, NSW police have issued almost 1,000 penalty notices for level crossing traffic offences.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said these localised campaigns are an opportunity to reinforce safety at level crossings and the message from police is ‘Train to Stop’.

“We are looking out for motorists who disobey flashing lights and stop signs,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“Police are targeting drivers speeding near level crossings and those who are distracted. The consequences of a car or truck hitting a train are severe so ‘don’t rush to the other side’.”