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Near collisions

Every week, on every railway line in New Zealand, there are many ‘near collisions’ where vehicles or people are almost hit by a train.

A near collision can either be at a level crossing or elsewhere on the railway tracks.

Locomotive engineers (train drivers) are obliged to report all near collisions, and if you are seen driving, walking or cycling in front of a train your details will be passed on to the Police. 

Statistics also show that motorists and pedestrians continue to take unnecessary risks at level crossings or fail to follow the warning signs.

  • In 2011 there were 113 recorded near collisions on the rail corridor. 
  • From August 2010 to the end of 2011 there were 193 near collisions between vehicles and trains.  
  • 37 percent of all near collisions since August 2010 occurred at crossings protected by barrier arms.
  • 76 percent of near collisions since August 2010 occurred at crossings with either flashing lights and bells or barrier arms.

Warning signs are there to protect motorists and pedestrians – always pay attention to them and stop, look and listen for trains every time.

Near collisions have an effect on train drivers, with some saying that near misses can be one of the hardest parts of driving trains. 

TrackSAFE conducts campaigns aimed at reducing the number of collisions and near collisions at level crossings. 

These campaigns aim to spread the message that train drivers are reporting everything that they see to Police - who may decide to either prosecute or issue a warning.

Read about locomotive engineer Ian Thornton's first hand experiences with near collisions and the impact they have.


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ILCAD 15 Launches in NZ

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

TrackSAFE Foundation New Zealand is pleased to support International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on 3 June 2015, with the theme “take your time, don’t risk your life”. 

Every year in New Zealand people are injured or die in preventable incidents at level crossings. There are around 2600 level crossings in New Zealand and collisions with trains result in around 3 deaths and 14 serious injuries on average each year. 

There are around 22 level crossing collisions per year, and more than 52 per cent of these collisions occur at level crossings with active protection (barrier arms and/or flashing lights and bells).

Every year there are also hundreds of near collisions reported by train drivers.  Recent research in New Zealand has shown that distraction, complacency and impatience are the key causes of level crossing collisions in our country.

TrackSAFE is proud to be part of the global community of organisations working to raise awareness about rail safety at level crossings.  

We are delighted to support and deliver the ILCAD campaign here “Downunder” and while we may be many thousands of miles away from other ILCAD organisations, the human behaviours at level crossings in New Zealand are almost identical to those in every other country in the world. 

We are united by a common desire to promote safe behaviours and we wish all ILCAD participants the very best for a successful awareness campaign around the globe.

   Mr Peter Reidy
   Chairman, TrackSAFE NZ
   Chief Executive, KiwiRail  Read more

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