Look both ways this National Rail Safety Week

10 August, 2023

As National Rail Safety Week begins today, RAA is reminding South Australians to keep safe around trains and trams as data emerges showing there have been 60 casualty crashes at train and tram level crossings over the five years between 2018-2022.  

National Rail Safety Week runs between 7 – 13 August this year and is an important annual reminder to stay diligent and patient around moving trains and trams.  

In the last five years, there have been 60 casualty crashes at train and tram level crossings resulting in a number of serious injuries and lives lost.    

With respect to trams, 38 incidents occurred since 2018 and alarmingly 28 of those were a result of side swiping, and many incidents were during daytime hours outside of peak times. 

The data also reveals that two lives were lost regionally after failing to check for oncoming trains at stop signs – a tragedy that could have been avoided.  

RAA Safety and Infrastructure Senior Manager Charles Mountain is urging all road users to get back to the basics for rail safety.  

“All road users have a responsibility to be patient around moving trains and trams, especially at crossings,” Mr Mountain said. 

“The number of lives lost on our roads this year has already surpassed the total in 2022 and tragically one of those crashes this year involved a cyclist and train. 

“Although a crossing may slow your commute, remember that trains and trams cannot swerve or stop like a car can, so avoid trying to beat the train.  

“Road users also need to pay strong attention within regional areas where rail crossings may be more challenging. 

“Regional train lines can be infrequent, where you may have passed the crossing 50 times without seeing a train come past. Always stop and check no matter how many times you’ve crossed the railway before.  

“Some railway lines are hard to see into the distance, so obeying signs is extremely important. 

Mr Mountain said when it comes to trams, most of the network travels along a separate corridor.  

“However, once a tram travels through a road environment such as Jetty Road, Glenelg, road users need to be mindful,” Mr Mountain said.  

“Watch out for where the tram is stopping, keep a clear distance and never walk or drive in front.”