Traffic and Highway Patrol officers are targeting risky driver behaviour at level crossings in support of a campaign in south west NSW with a particular focus the Upper Hunter, NSW Police say.
The enforcement, with the theme of #Tracksmeantrains starts tomorrow and runs until 17 November 2016.
It is part of an ongoing series of safety campaigns relating to level crossings, and is a joint initiative by the NSW Police Force and Transport for NSW.
The aim of these campaigns is to reduce the number of collisions on the state’s 1400 public-level crossings. Between July 2001 and June 2016, there were 128 collisions involving trains and road vehicles at level crossings throughout the state.
Further, research by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) indicates there can be up to 10 ‘near hit’ incidents involving trains and a motor vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle riders every month.
As part of the operation, officers will be on the look-out for dangerous motorist behaviour such as ignoring signs, speeding near level crossings and illegally talking using a mobile phone rather than concentrating on the level crossing.
In 2015, NSW Police issued 470 penalty notices for level-crossing offences, and this figure has been trending upwards for four years.
Campaign coordinator Senior Sergeant Mick Timms, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said that despite the dangers, people are still ignoring warnings at level crossings.
“Even with the inherent dangers involved, we still see a disappointing number of drivers ignoring safety warnings and controls at NSW level crossings.
“This campaign is to remind drivers to take extreme care at level crossings and not become complacent, as a single moment of distraction or recklessness could cost them their life.
“I want people to remember the simple rule, that Tracks Mean Trains,” Senior Sergeant Timms said.
Through road safety campaign Towards Zero, the NSW Government is working hard to drive down the road toll and highlight there is no acceptable number when it comes to death on the road.
Bernard Carlon from the Centre for Road Safety said, “Between July 2001 and June 2016, there were 128 collisions involving trains and road vehicles at level crossings throughout NSW resulting in loss of life and serious injuries, which is why we’re cracking down on this dangerous behaviour.
“Any death or serious injury on our roads is one too many. We are working together to reduce loss of life on our roads and promoting level crossings safety is another way we are driving the road toll towards zero,” Mr Carlon said.