Rail Safety Week begins today (Monday 8 August) and will include police and Protective Security Officers (PSO) working in a variety of ways to increase awareness of the risks involved in a moment of inattention. This year’s theme is ‘Stand back. Look up. Stay Rail Safe.’
Rail Safety Week is an annual initiative run by the TrackSAFE Foundation, and is supported by South Australia Police (SAPOL) as part of their ongoing efforts to encourage safe behaviour around trains, trams and rail lines.
SAPOL data shows that there were 19 collisions involving the rail network in 2021/2022. Seven of the collisions involved a train and 12 involved a tram. 13 collisions occurred in the metropolitan area and six collisions occurred in the country area. Three of the incidents resulted in serious injuries. These are all incidents that could have been entirely preventable.
Members of the public can expect to see an increased presence by SAPOL’s Public Transport Section and Traffic Section every day throughout the week at railway stations and pedestrian level crossings with a focus on safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
A number of PSOs have also recently joined SAPOL’s Public Transport Policing Teams on a temporary basis which will see them working with police officers on all trains, trams and buses and at public transport locations across Adelaide.
Examples of dangerous behaviour that is observed at rail networks include:
- Not waiting for the green light when crossing at pedestrian level crossings;
- Jumping over train platforms to cross to the other side;
- Not entering and exiting trams and trains safely;
- Opening security gates at train crossings and crossing train tracks when gates have been mobilised; and
- Being distracted by head phones and other smart devices when crossing roads.
Inspector Julian Coram from SAPOL’s Metropolitan Operations Service said that SAPOL officers will be paying particular attention to identifying any behaviour around rail networks which put individuals and others at risk of harm including the examples listed above.
“Members of the public should not feel alarmed seeing an increase presence of police and PSOs around rail networks and pedestrian crossings during Rail Safety Week. They will be keeping a close watch on people and educating them on safe behaviours around platforms and rail crossings. Crossing train or tram tracks against warning signals or in a dangerous manner only puts you and others including motorists at significant risk of serious injury or worse, “said Inspector Coram.
“Should any member of the public need assistance during Rail Safety Week, please do not hesitate to speak to a police officer or a PSO.”
For more information about Rail Safety Week please visit https://tracksafefoundation.com.au/event/rail-safety-week/ and https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/about-us/news/news-items/2021/level_crossing_safety
Footage above taken from an incident on South Road / Cross Road in August 2020 where a boom gate has stopped on top of a car due to inattentive driving.