Dual penalty, upgrades at level crossings

Dual penalties have been implemented and six regional level crossings will be upgraded to improve crossing safety.

Stop signs will be replaced with flashing lights, bells and boomgates at four crossings at Coonamia (Wauchopes Road), Huddleston (Huddleston Road), Tailem Bend (Travena Road) and Bordertown (Tatiara Road).

Also, from today, drivers who speed through level crossings, whilst committing a level crossing offence will receive dual penalties.

The change will allow speeding and level crossing offences from the same incident to attract penalties and demerits for both offences.

All level crossing offences attract a fee of $320 and three demerit points. Speeding offences range from $252 (one demerit) to $650 (six demerits). All funds from speeding and level crossing expiations will go directly into the Community Road Safety Fund.

Since 2003, more than $600 million has been reinvested straight back into road safety infrastructure and education initiatives. The Fund is used for blackspots, shoulder sealing and level crossing improvements.

Investigations by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have found that in almost every level crossing crash, the motorist failed to give way to a train and there was very little the train driver could do.
Driving offences at railway level crossings include:
• Failing to stop at a stop sign at a level crossing.
• Failing to give way to a train or tram at a level crossing where there is a give way sign.
• Entering a level crossing if warning lights or bells are operating.
• Entering a level crossing if a gate, boom or barrier is closing, closed or opening.
• Entering a level crossing if a train or tram is on or entering the crossing.
• Entering a level crossing if an approaching train or tram can be seen from the crossing, or sounding a warning, and there is a danger of a collision at the crossing.
• Entering a level crossing if you cannot pass through the crossing because it, or the road beyond it, is blocked.
• Failure to leave a level crossing as soon as it is safe.

Also, as part of the State Government’s level crossing safety package, road shoulders have already been widened at two crossings along the Two Wells to Mallala Road, at the intersections with Simpkin Road (Two Wells) and Pratt Road (Korunye).

The level crossing works will be completed by the middle of the year, weather permitting.

Image: Dual penalties for level crossing offences can now be enforced.

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