The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), and John Holland Rail who manage the Country Regional Network for the NSW Government, are reminding Riverina kids to stay ‘track safe’ around the rail corridor as they get ready to go back to school.
ARTC’s General Manager North South, Tony Frazer, said while in many country areas where it might not seem many trains are operating, trains operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including weekends and holidays – which means trains can come any time and from any direction, even when there is only one line.
Mr Frazer said that many people didn’t know it is actually illegal to go on train tracks unless you are walking across a pedestrian level crossing, or driving across a level crossing.
Across Australia, every year there are on average 166 collisions between trains and people or vehicles, including 35 collisions which cause a fatality.
“As much as the families of those fatally injured are impacted, the impact on train drivers and train crew when faced by a fatality, particularly those of children, is also highly traumatic; and something we as a community need to reduce incidences of,” Mr Frazer said.
“Because of the safety risk and high risk of harm, it is illegal to enter the rail corridor and you can also face significant fines for doing so – up to $5,000.
“Trains can’t stop quickly. A freight train can take up to two kilometres to stop safely and once a driver sees something or someone on the tracks, all a driver can do is engage their emergency brakes and hope they stop in time,” Mr Frazer said.
For more information for how kids can stay ‘track safe’, please visit the TrackSAFE Foundation’s ‘Be on the Safe Side’ online learning resource for kids at: www.beonthesafeside.com.au.