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South Australians urged to stay rail safe

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

9 August 2021

As part of National Rail Safety Week (9 – 15 August), South Australians are being urged to Stand Back, Look Up and Stay Rail Safe around local train and tram lines and crossings.

National Rail Safety Week is an annual initiative run by the TrackSAFE Foundation, and is supported by the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage safe behaviours around trains, trams and rail lines.

The focus for Rail Safety Week this year is “Stand Back, Look Up and Stay Rail Safe”, as it only takes one moment of distraction, or unsafe action, to change a person’s life forever.

Between 2016 and 2020, there were 24 collisions and 543 near misses reported by rail operators in South Australia involving either a person or vehicle, at an average of five collisions and 108 near misses per year.

A near-miss is classified as an event in which the driver has been required to take some form of action such as emergency braking, so the number of incidents reported only reflects those which are considered of high concern.

Additionally, there are approximately 486 pedestrian crossings and 558 public level crossings on South Australian railway lines, representing the sheer scale of possible interfaces between trains and trams and individuals or vehicles.

Of these, 353 pedestrian crossings and 80 level crossings are located on the Adelaide Metro passenger railway network.

DIT urges South Australians to exercise caution when using the rail network, and reminds members of the public that the onus is on them to take responsibility for their own actions.

In the most serious cases, incidents on the rail network can cause injury and death. Many others cause service disruptions, motorist delays and property damage.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists should keep these simple points in mind when nearby railway tracks:

  • Always stay behind the white line when waiting for a train or tram or to cross at a level crossing.
  • Be sensible, pay attention and be alert around trains and on platforms, checking for oncoming trains in both directions (not just the one nearest you).
  • Remember to put your mobile phone away, hop off your bike and always remove headphones when you are near train tracks.
  • It is illegal to enter a level crossing while the lights are flashing or when warning bells sound.
  • Always ensure there is enough space for your vehicle on the other side of a level crossing before making the decision to cross.
  • Wait for the lights and bells to stop and the boom gates to go up (if fitted) before crossing the tracks at a level crossing.

DIT encourages South Australians to take the Rail Safety Quiz during Rail Safety Week, by visiting: https://mylicence.sa.gov.au/road-rules/rail-safety-quiz