Level crossing safety notice issued for truck drivers

Friday, 08 March, 2024

Level crossing safety notice issued for truck drivers

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have issued a Safety Notice to enhance road safety and help truck drivers stay vigilant at level crossings. The National Level Crossing Safety Notice reminds heavy vehicle drivers of the safety measures they must adhere to around rail lines.

ATA CEO Mathew Munro said the safety notice is part of a shared commitment to reduce fatalities and injuries at the more than 20,000 level crossings intersecting with roads and pathways across Australia. According to Munro, there were 39 lives lost and 49 serious injuries at Australia’s rail crossings between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2022.

“These aren’t just numbers; these are people who didn’t make it home safely to their loved ones. There have also been thousands of near misses at rail crossings. We’re putting out a unified reminder for truck drivers to prioritise not only their own safety, but the safety of their fellow road users and rail workers. There’s no room to take risks when it comes to trains,” Munro said.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM said level crossings present challenges for heavy vehicles and urged drivers to be aware of their surroundings and avoid any distractions when approaching rail lines. Petroccitto said it is imperative for truck drivers not to become complacent, as a momentary lapse in concentration or judgment can be fatal.

“Trucks don’t have the same stopping time as lighter vehicles, so it’s critical all heavy vehicle drivers take extra caution around the tracks. The National Level Crossing Safety Notice includes simple dos and don’ts for drivers to remember. These include reducing speed and checking blind spots before crossing, adhering to any warning signs, boom gates and lights, and assessing the road condition. Even with efficient braking systems, it takes a considerable amount of time for a train to stop, especially when travelling at high speeds,” Petroccitto said.

Image credit: iStock.com/Michele Jackson

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