Education, enforcement and elimination key to level crossing safety

Rail workers will be seeking mandatory safety cameras at level crossings, and increased penalties for drivers who cross in front of a train at next week’s national level crossing safety summit.


Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Assistant National Secretary Shayne Kummerfeld has spoken with South Australian Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis to discuss these measures, and the Minister indicated changes need to be made for the safety of rail workers and road users.

“Despite the tragic double fatality at Bindarrah on New Year’s Eve, motorists are continuing to drive straight through level crossings in front of trains,” Mr Kummerfeld said.

“It is only a matter of time until another major incident occurs, and more people are killed. The madness has to stop.

“The RTBU will be taking a package of measures to the upcoming national level crossing safety summit in Brisbane next week, and we will be seeking support from industry and all levels of government to take these measures forward.”

Mr Kummerfeld said the RTBU’s package included:

• A comprehensive community awareness campaign to educate all motorists of the consequences of breaching level crossings safety laws – including legal penalties.

• Increased penalties for motorists who disobey warning lights and signs at level crossings.
• Stiff penalties for trucking companies that employ drivers who disobey warning lights and signs at level crossings.
• Mandatory safety cameras at all level crossings to catch all motorists who break the law
• Highly visible signage at all level crossing warning motorists of heavy penalties for breaching level crossing safety laws

• Increased investment in engineering solutions, or ‘active crossings’, such as grade separations (overpasses), warning lights, bells and boom gates.

“The rail industry has been talking about level crossing safety for years, but the tragedies keep happening.

“It’s time for authorities to take a zero-tolerance approach to road users ignoring the laws at rail crossings.”