Driver behaviour a concern after level crossing awareness enforcement campaign – Central West

Police conducting a level crossing awareness enforcement campaign have issued 156 traffic infringement notices to motorists during a 12-month period in the state’s Central West.

Between Monday 21 June 2020 and Friday (2 July 2021), police from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command increased patrols at rail level crossings in the state’s Central West, as part of a four-phase enforcement campaign involving the NSW Police Force and the NSW Centre for Road Safety at Transport for NSW.

The final phase of the campaign which was aimed at increasing public safety and awareness around rail level crossings in the Daroobalgie, Red Bend and Escort Way, Forbes area was enforced between Sunday 20 June 2021 and Friday 2 July 2021.

During this period, police issued 10 infringements for level crossing offences, 16 for speeding, two for seatbelt offences, and 12 for other infringement offences.

In total, police issued 156 infringements for level crossing offences throughout the 12-month campaign.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Inspector Kelly Wixx said it was concerning to see that motorists had failed to put their safety first when utilising level crossings.

“Throughout the past 12 months it has been really concerning to see some motorists have conducted themselves in a dangerous and illegal manner, and are putting their own lives and the lives of train drivers and other community members at risk,” Insp Wixx said.

“We are encouraging drivers to take responsibility for their own actions and to ensure they’re doing the right thing.

“However, what we’re seeing is drivers being complacent, so we’re asking drivers to comply with the stop and give way sign, and ensure no train is oncoming before they cross.”

Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary Safety, Environment and Regulation, Tara McCarthy, said everyone has a responsibility in ensuring we arrive to our destination safely.

“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,” she said.

“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.

“We all need to look out for each other to ensure we reach our destination safely, that includes road users at level crossings.”

Insp Wixx reminds motorists they face a $464 fine, three demerit points and risk loss of licence if they fail to obey level crossing signs and traffic signals.

“Even though the enforcement campaign for 2020/2021 has concluded, police are still going to be out there targeting level crossing offences and we will be taking action,” Insp Wixx said.

“You don’t know where we’re going to be, we’re always going to be out there targeting level crossings and any offences around level crossings. So please, be safe, look for trains, and make it home safely.”

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