Friday, July 21, 2023
ONRSR is again throwing its support behind the upcoming Rail Safety Week (August 7-13), using the important period to highlight the responsibility we all have for safety on the network.
Acting ONRSR Chief Executive and National Rail Safety Regulator, Peter Doggett said TrackSAFE’s focus on a regional rail safety message is consistent with ONRSR’s efforts to shine the spotlight on rail safety in rural communities.
“We’ve recently placed an emphasis on regional Australia in relation to our ongoing work on level crossing safety because the reality is that in a vast country like ours, the majority of the crossings are outside the metropolitan areas,” he said.
“These are also where we tend to see fewer active crossings (lights and booms), more seasonal and irregular train movements and larger trains.”
“It is in country towns and through our substantial agricultural areas that the message to expect the unexpected is particularly pertinent.”
ONRSR is engaged with the Federal Government’s establishment of the Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program and support activities under the National Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy while also monitoring State Government investigations of tech solutions and the use of big data to identify hotspot locations.
ONRSR also continues to support the work being done by both governments and industry to remove level crossings and remains committed to a policy of no new level crossings.
Rail Safety Week is another timely reminder for all Australians of the need to be vigilant when using or interacting with railways. While ONRSR has been buoyed by a 13 percent reduction in rail-related fatalities in Australia and a significant 31 percent drop in serious injuries in 2021-2022, any incident on the network is one too many.
“Regulators, operators and the general public have all had a role in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our railways, but we can never be complacent,” Peter Doggett said.
“In ushering in another Rail Safety Week, I’d encourage everyone in the industry and the community at large to take a moment to think about what it takes to stay safe.”
For more information and resources relating to Rail Safety Week visit the TrackSAFE Foundation website.