Safety campaign on right track
Transport Minister Troy Buswell today launched a hard-hitting campaign to improve public awareness and safety on Transperth rail networks.
The ‘Trains move faster than you’ campaign is aimed specifically at improving safety at pedestrian crossings and minimising the trauma for rail staff who witness a serious accident or near miss on the tracks.
In 2011, the Public Transport Authority (PTA) recorded 108 level crossing incidents on the urban rail system. This included 63 incidents at pedestrian gates, of which 19 were classified as a near miss, which indicates the driver has applied the emergency brake and sounded the horn. There were also more than 500 trespassing incidents.
“People who trespass by either failing to use the pedestrian crossing or by ignoring the signals are a growing concern for the rail industry,” Mr Buswell said.
“When you consider that trains can travel up to 130kmh, these people risk serious injury or death when they cross the tracks illegally. At this speed, a train needs 600 metres to come to a complete stop.”
The Minister said the safety campaign would also focus on support for rail industry staff.
“People might not consider the impact of these horrific incidents on witnesses such as train drivers, transit officers and emergency services staff,” he said.
“They are very often the first and last to leave the scene and the effects can be long-lasting. Even a near miss can be very traumatising for a train driver and other witnesses.”
Campaign cinema advertising started screening in targeted cinemas this week. The campaign also includes a dedicated Facebook page and educational resources.
The ‘Trains move faster than you’ campaign coincides with the establishment of a national rail safety foundation, known as trackSAFE, to be launched in Sydney tomorrow.