Stay level headed at level crossings in Port Kembla

Published

Motorists in the Illawarra Region are reminded to be patient at level crossings with Transport for NSW warning motorists there is no excuse for putting lives on the line by trying to race a train.

“Trains can travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour and can take up to one-and-a-half kilometres to come to a complete stop,” said Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation Tara McCarthy.

“That means that by the time they see you, it’s often too late. Signs, flashing lights, boom gates and road markings are at level crossings for a good reason, and drivers, riders and pedestrians need to pay attention.”

Ms McCarthy said there have been several near misses at two level crossings in Port Kembla where too many drivers are running the risk of rushing to the other side.

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

Acting Superintendent Ben Macfarlane from Traffic and Highway Patrol said police will patrol the crossings in Old Port Road and Foreshore Drive, Port Kembla, from Monday 21 September to Thursday 1 October to ensure road and rail users remain safe.

“We will be looking out for speeding and distracted drivers near these level crossings and those who disregard flashing lights and stop signs. The consequences of a car or truck hitting a train are severe so don’t rush to the other side,” Act Supt MacFarlane said.

Between July 2008 and June 2020 there have been 77 collisions between trains and cars at level crossings in NSW, resulting in eight fatalities and 13 serious injuries.

In the past two years, NSW Police have issued almost 1,000 penalty notices for level crossing traffic offences.

Motorists who gamble with their safety at level crossings could face three demerit points and a $464 fine.