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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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Latest news

Safety Leadership Award Announced

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rail industry safety expert Robert (Bob) Lupton was today announced as the inaugural winner of the TrackSAFE NZ Safety Leadership Award. 

The award was established late last year to recognise significant leadership in railway safety in New Zealand.

Chairman of TrackSAFE NZ Peter Reidy says Mr Lupton received the award for his outstanding contribution to safety over his 32 year career in New Zealand and overseas.

“Mr Lupton’s continued contribution has appreciably influenced rail safety in New Zealand across a number of organisations,” Mr Reidy says.  “He has an outstanding reputation for providing sound advice and growing and supporting those around him and is fully deserving of this special award.”

Mr Lupton has worked in a number of roles in the rail industry throughout his career, most recently as the Rail Systems Safety and Assurance Manager for the City Rail Link project.   

In that role he provided leadership, mentoring and guidance to the City Rail Link safety assurance and construction safety teams.

Among Mr Lupton’s many achievements are leading the development of the Britomart Safety Management System and responsibility for safety management during the transition to Auckland’s electrified network.  This included crashworthiness risk assessments for the new Auckland electric rolling stock.

Mr Lupton is an executive member of the New Zealand National Rail System Standards Executive committee, and continues to provide expert rail safety advice to the City Rail Link one of New Zealand's largest transport projects.

The award was presented today to Mr Lupton at Auckland Transport offices, in front of industry representatives.  Read more

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