There are apparently 1400 public level crossings in New South Wales. Between 2001-2002 and 2013-2014 in the state there were a reported 188 collisions at level crossings involving trains and road vehicles. Due to this high incident rate, police in the state have decided to embark on a level crossings safety campaign.
The crackdown will apply to level crossings in the central west of NSW and according to warnings the police in NSW will be spending the next 2 weeks concentrating on improving safety at level crossings in this area.
The new campaign which is currently taking place is expected to run until December 1st. The crackdown will involve police patrols of the Newell Highway level crossings at Welcome and Tichborne between Parkes and Forbes, reports said.
Police say the latest in safety campaigns forms part of a series in the crackdown on level crossings with the ultimate goal of police being to bring down the high number of collisions at level crossings across the state.
The police’s efforts will involve patrolling for motorists who engage in “risky” behaviour such as failing to heed warning lights and signs, speeding near level crossings and using mobile phones while driving.
Senior Police Sergeant Mick Timms was quoted in an article on Fullyloaded.com.au
“Taking risks at level crossings is dangerous and can be deadly, but we still see some motorists ignoring the warnings,” senior sergeant Mick Timms says.
The 118 collisions involving trains and road vehicles at level crossings in NSW between 2001-2002 and 2013-2014 are an indication of the seriousness of the problem and why police action is necessary. Timms also stated that in the last four years, there have also been five near hits at the Tichborne level crossing.
Timms goes on to mention that last year (2013), police in the state issued 392 penalty notices for level crossing offences, which was a 45 per cent increase from the previous year.
The post on Fullyloaded.com.au went on to provide some more disturbing news about level crossing safety in the state,
Research from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator shows there can be up to 10 near hit incidents involving trains and a motor vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle rider every month.
“Using caution, avoiding distraction and sticking to the speed limit is important to ensure drivers negotiate these crossings safely,” Timms says.