Rail Safety Week Highlights Near Misses

Published: 13-Aug-2019

In 2018 there were 400 near misses between people and trains or vehicles and trains on railway lines across New Zealand.

In the last ten years there have been around 21 reported near misses at rail crossings in the Waimakariri and four collisions - some resulting in serious injuries.

With 23 crossings dotted throughout our district, it’s likely we’ve all driven, walked or biked over a railway crossing.

This week is Rail Safety Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about rail safety and encouraging safe behaviour around trains, railway tracks and level crossings.

Close calls at level crossings affect everyone involved, including train drivers and other rail staff, witnesses and the pedestrian, cyclist or driver who narrowly escapes collision.

‘Near miss’ memorials have been set up in various locations around the country as part of Rail Safety Week. Click to learn more about Rail Safety Week and the Near Miss Memorials.

Rail safety advice:

Cross with care – Kia tÅ«pato te whakawhiti

If you’re a motorist:

  • Obey the warning signs and look carefully in both directions for trains
  • Listen, be aware and pay careful attention to your surrounds
  • Always ensure there is space on the other side of the crossing for your vehicle.

If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist, or mobility-impaired:

  • Only cross at a formed level crossing or an overpass or underpass
  • Remove your headphones, stop and always look both ways for trains before crossing the tracks
  • Only cross if you are sure there are no trains in sight
  • Obey the warning signs at the crossing – if lights are flashing or bells are ringing this means a train is approaching
  • If a train has passed or is stopped at the station, always check both ways again to make sure another train is not coming.