Metlink 'all aboard' Rail Safety Week
Support for Rail Safety Week has rolled in from Metlink. The seven-day initiative, led by TrackSAFE and KiwiRail, aims to reduce the number of accidents and near misses at level crossings.
The key message this year is based on superstition. Blowing left and right before crossing train tracks encourages people to look for approaching trains.
Transport Minister Michael Wood is also on board, reminding us “to make sure that whenever we approach a rail line – we are alert, obey signs, warning bells and barriers, and look both ways for trains.”
In the last decade, 155 people have died in collisions with trains in New Zealand, including eight in the year to June.
So far in 2022, there have been 28 collisions at level crossings. Of the 13 collisions last year, most were at crossings with barrier arms, flashing lights and bells.
To keep rail safety on track this week and beyond, specially designed resources, including a virtual field trip are available for schools(external link).
Metlink General Manager Samantha Gain said Rail Safety Week was a good reminder for the people of the Wellington region to stay safe around trains.
“Whether you are a pedestrian, riding a bike or driving a car, always check for trains at level crossings,” Ms Gain said.
“Metlink has four rail lines on which passengers make millions of journeys each year. That’s a lot of trains going through level crossings. It’s vital we educate our tamariki and remind friends and whānau to look left and right before crossing train tracks.
“Not only can this simple safety message save lives, it can save our train drivers from the trauma of an accident.”
For more information about track safety visit the TrackSAFE(external link) website.