Level crossing campaign launched in Central West

Risky driver behaviour at level crossings will be targeted by police in support of a campaign in the state’s Central West regions.

From today (Monday 12 April 2021) to Thursday (15 April 2021), police from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be increasing patrols at level crossings in the Bylong Valley area.

The campaign is aimed at increasing public safety and awareness around rail level crossings in regional NSW – part of an ongoing series of enforcement campaigns between the NSW Police Force and the NSW Centre for Road Safety at Transport for NSW.

During the campaign police will be on the look-out for motorists disobeying level crossing flashing lights and stop signs, vehicles queuing over the railway tracks, speeding near level crossings, and drivers who are distracted by illegal use of mobile phones.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command North West Region Traffic Coordinator, Sergeant Kelly Wixx, said that despite the potentially fatal consequences, people are still ignoring warnings at level crossings.

“Trains can travel at speeds of up to 160km/h and can take more than a kilometre to come to a complete stop,” Sgt Wixx said.

“Disobeying level crossing warning lights and signs can lead to crashes between vehicles and trains where the consequences can quickly turn deadly.”

Sgt Wixx said there is no excuse for putting lives on the line by trying to race a train.

“This is why we need to continue raising awareness and reinforce our Train to Stop message to motorists at level crossings,” she said.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said there was no excuse for putting yours and other lives on the line at level crossings.

“Signs, flashing lights, boom gates and road markings are at level crossings for a good reason, and motorists and pedestrians alike need to pay attention,” Mr Toole said.

“Ask yourself: are the minutes you might save rushing across the tracks really worth risking your life?”

Between 2016 and 2020 there have been nine collisions between trains and cars at level crossings in NSW, resulting in two people losing their lives and nine suffering injuries – all of which could have been avoided.

The penalty for disobeying controls is three demerit points and a $464 fine.

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