RAA is marking National Rail Safety Week – starting today – with a call for road users and pedestrians to be vigilant around railways.
RAA Safety and Infrastructure Senior Manager Charles Mountain is urging everyone road users to be patient when trains and trams are moving through level crossings.
“Motorists shouldn’t try to beat the lights,” Mr Mountain said.
“While it can be frustrating, slow-moving or queued traffic is never an excuse for blocking train or tram tracks and can have catastrophic consequences.
“The yellow hatch painted areas installed at many level crossings helps to show the area that queued vehicle must avoid.
“Drivers should come to a complete stop when the lights have started flashing and not proceed until they have ceased, even though the barriers may have lifted.
“Pedestrians should also be alert around level crossings and avoid distractions.’’
Mr Mountain also had advice for motorist at level crossings where there are only STOP or GIVE WAY signs.
“While regional level crossings may only be used occasionally, people must obey the signs – there may only be a train approaching once every one hundred times, but that one occasion could prove fatal,’’ he said.
Tragically, last month a cyclist died of his injuries after he was hit by a train while automatic safety gates and signal lights were not activated at North Adelaide.
Also last month a woman and her children were lucky to escape serious injury after their car collided with the Cockle Train at Port Elliot.
On average, six collisions and 110 near misses involving either a person or a vehicle are reported by rail operators in South Australia each year, according to the SA Government.