Tag Archives: TrackSAFE Foundation

Victoria: TrackSAFE welcomes push for level crossing safety

26 Nov

As Victoria moves to elect a new state government, The TrackSAFE Foundation has welcomed the importance placed on level crossing safety by both the Victorian Coalition and Labor political parties in the lead up to the state election this Saturday.

TrackSAFE Chairman, Bob Herbert AM, said he was encouraged to see robust plans from both parties for the removal of a significant number of notoriously dangerous level crossings across the state network.

“There are thousands of near collisions between vehicles and trains at level crossings every year and each one is just seconds’ away from becoming a potential catastrophe. Both the Victorian Coalition and Labor parties must be congratulated on their proposed plans to address level crossing safety,” said Mr Herbert.

The Victorian Coalition has committed AUD685 million to roll out the removal of 40 level crossings and grade separations, whilst the Labor party has called for the removal of 50 dangerous level crossings under Project 10,000.

“Victoria has more level crossings than any other state in Australia and a large number of collisions and near hits. There have been 39 near hits at St Albans alone and tragically two fatalities, since its construction,” Mr Herbert continued.

“To avoid further incidents and trauma caused to everyone involved, including the train drivers, it is imperative that governments look to remove these dangerous crossings.

“Level crossing safety remains one of the rail industry’s highest safety priorities and, through TrackSAFE, has established the National Level Crossing Safety Committee to collaborate around education; enforcement; engineering; and research.

“No matter what the result of the election on Saturday, I look forward to working with the government elect on making Victoria’s road and rail networks safer for all,” Mr Herbert concluded.

 

Australia & New Zealand: TrackSAFE reprises Rail Safety Week 2014

5 Sep

TrackSAFE’s review of Rail Safety Week, August 11th-17th, 2014 reads as follows:

With 1,000 near hits taking place each year it is evident that we all must continue spreading the word that people need to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings near tracks and trains are around. ‘Near Miss? Near Hit’ was the focus of this year’s annual campaign in Australia and New Zealand, held from 11-17 August 2014.

Events and activities were held all across Australia and New Zealand by industry members in a united effort to raise awareness about the importance of being safe around railway lines. Participating organisations included V/Line, TrackSAFE NZ and KiwiRail, TasRail, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink, South Australia Police, Siemens, Queensland Rail, Queensland Police Service, Pacific National, NT Department of Transport and NT Police, NSW Police, Metro Trains Melbourne, Brookfield Rail, Australian Rail Track Corporation and Aurizon.

Activities ranged from simulated train driving, educational outreach in schools, face painting, increased police enforcement at level crossings, to visits from Thomas the Tank Engine and the Dumb Ways to Die characters. There was something for all ages as the industry rallied together to support Rail Safety Week and inform their communities about potential repercussions and trauma caused to rail staff when involved in train-related incidents. Several entities also released videos and held active Facebook and Twitter conversations in order to elevate the profile of Rail Safety Week activities. TrackSAFE provided a variety of posters and other promotional material for participants to use at their events. Feedback was positive and a new wave of enthusiasm swept the industry as a result the of week’s activities.

Click here to watch the Rail Safety Week YouTube video developed for the campaign. Keep an eye out for next year’s campaign announcement where we’ll be celebrating 10 years of Rail Safety Week!

Australia & New Zealand: Rail Safety Week update

23 Jun

LXinfoImage1256-Rail Safety Week 2014Set for the week of August 11-17th, 2014, Rail Safety Week will once again take centre stage across the industry as both Australia and New Zealand gear up to spread the message of rail safety organised by the TrackSAFE Foundation.

The Rail Safety Week Committee decided that this year’s campaign theme will focus on the message of ‘Near Miss….Near Hit’. The theme is aimed at raising awareness around the 1,000 near hits taking place each year, and the fact that a ‘near miss’ is actually a ‘near hit’ – a split second difference in keeping your life and losing it.

The Rail Safety Week team are currently working towards the final concepts for the campaign and will meet again this month to finalise the activities taking place across Australia.

For the latest updates follow TrackSAFE on Twitter @TrackSAFE or on Facebook.

Australia: TrackSAFE Foundation pushes safety message to students

28 May

LXinfoImage1250-Walk to school safely - AustraliaAustalia’s TrackSAFE Foundation has launched an initiative to encourage students to take extra care when heading to school on the national ‘Walk Safely to School Day’ (WSTSD).

General Manager of the TrackSAFE Foundation Naomi Frauenfelder said that WSTSD was important as it raised awareness in the community about promoting safe pedestrian behaviour amongst young children and stressed the need for children to take care when not only crossing roads but also when near railway lines and crossings.

“More than 250,000 school students use the rail network each day, and even more on weekends, on excursions and in school holidays, it is therefore important that they and their parents are aware of the risks involved when crossing or standing near rail lines,” said Ms Frauenfelder.

“Unfortunately in Australia we see an average of 166 collisions between trains and people each year, resulting in the accidental death of 35 people and serious injury of more than 40 pedestrians each year. Out of these serious injuries 35 percent occur amongst young people.

To help address this serious issue, the TrackSAFE Foundation has initiated an Australian first national rail safety education learning resource called Be on the Safe Side, developed specifically for primary schools. Be on the Safe Side comprises a comprehensive set of units of work for teachers, including lesson plans, teacher notes and other relevant resources, to help them teach their students safe behaviour with a train and track safety theme.

“Be on the Safe Side acts as an important learning tool to improve students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes towards rail safety using a strengths-based approach,” said Ms Frauenfelder who continued “It is funded by the rail industry, and provides consistency in rail safety education throughout Australia, empowering students to improve their own and others’ safety when they are near trains and train tracks.

“I encourage all children heading to school today to look, think and act on the safe side. Stand behind the yellow line; hop off your skateboard or bike when crossing tracks; wait when the lights are flashing and gates are closed; remove your headphones at crossing and on station platforms.
“The rail industry wants to encourage children to take the train to and from school, making each trip not only an enjoyable one, but a safe one,” Ms Frauenfelder concluded.

For further information on Be on the Safe Side visit http://www.tracksafeeducation.com.au.

Victoria: Fixing rural crossings, TrackSAFE congratulates state government

18 Mar

The Victoria state government has been on a whirlwind path of late to address the issue of level crossing safety through its Fix Country Crossing Program.

As part of the programme, the Napthine Government declared that it would upgrade a total of 50 level crossings that were deemed in need of attention.

TrackSAFE has welcomed the initiative and commended the Government when it reached its set target last month, by upgrading the Aerodrome Road level crossing in Avenel, Victoria.

This crossing is not only the 50th to receive the upgrade, but was also listed last year by train drivers as one of the top 10 worst level crossings in the State in a TrackSAFE initiative.

The infamous level crossing has had many near collisions and is one of most concern amongst train drivers. There are thousands of near collisions between vehicles and trains at level crossing every year and each one is just seconds’ way from becoming a potential disaster.

In 2013 TrackSAFE went out to train drivers to ask them which level crossing they thought were the worst in each State, most level crossings made the list due to records of near collisions, heavy vehicle frequency and sighting distances.

Australia & New Zealand: Rail Safety Week dates announced

18 Mar

LXinfoImage1018-trackSAFE logoThe TrackSAFE Foundation has announced the dates for the 2014 Rail Safety Week. Mark this date in your diaries – August 11-17th, 2014.

Rail Safety Week will once again see operators across Australia and New Zealand come together to promote safety around railway lines to local communities and the general public.

The Rail Safety Week Committee will be meeting later in March to discuss potential activities and the theme for this year.

For the latest updates follow TrackSAFE on Twitter @TrackSAFE

Australia: Tracksafe Foundation launches national kids’ safety programme

18 Nov

LXinfoImage1208-Aussie KidsAs part of National Children’s Week, held in October, the TrackSAFE Foundation launched an Australian first, a national education initiative for primary school students to learn about train and track safety.

The initiative, titled ‘Be on the Safe Side’, provides teachers with learning resources to conduct engaging student-centred lessons within various Australian Curriculum Learning Areas (e.g. English) with a train and track safety theme.

Launching the initiative at West Ryde Public School, NSW was TrackSAFE Board Director and CEO of the Australasian Railway Association, Bryan Nye, who was excited to see the programme come to fruition after a year and a half of research, development and collaboration with rail industry, road safety and education sector partners.

“Be on the Safe Side is based on substantial evidence that students learn and retain safety messages best when they are positive and integrated as part of their normal curriculum. This is an Australian first and will set the bar for rail safety education internationally,” said Mr Nye.

“At the most crucial developmental period in their lives as active and responsible citizens of our society, children have not been able to access quality resources to learn vital safety skills around train tracks, which should be as common as learning to cross the road or learning to swim.

“Be on the Safe Side provides consistency in rail safety education throughout Australia, and empowers students to improve their own and others’ safety when they are near trains and train tracks.

Rather than ‘talking down’ to students or highlighting unsafe actions, the ‘Be on the Safe Side’ learning resources emphasise students’ strengths by allowing them to discover and solve train and track safety problems relevant to their local community,” said Mr Nye.

Australia has the sixth largest rail network in the world with 44,000 km of track, 23,500 level crossings and an estimated 250,000 Australian school students using the rail network to commute to school, largely unsupervised, each day.

Students regularly take risks near platform edges and on level crossings, not demonstrating the behaviours necessary to keep themselves safe around trains and tracks. In addition, a disproportionate number of young people trespass daily on train tracks to apply graffiti or vandalise property, deliberately risking their own and others’ lives, with the attitude that the potential lifelong consequences of their actions ‘won’t happen to them’.

“Across Australia each year there are on average 166 collisions per annum between trains and people or vehicles, including 35 collisions causing fatality; plus thousands of near collisions and many more which go unreported,” Mr Nye continued.

“Be on the Safe Side will help prevent incidents in the long term, ensuring the safety of our children around trains,” said Mr Nye.

Be on the Safe Side learning resources are available online free of charge to all primary schools across Australia and will be available to high schools in 2014. Visit the ‘Be on the Safe Side’ sites – for teachers and parents visit http://www.tracksafeeducation.com.au and for students visit http://www.beonthesafeside.com.au.