Safety Advice


Take extreme care when driving over a railway level crossing.*

Obey the warning signs and look carefully in both directions for trains.  Listen, be aware and pay careful attention to your surroundings.  Always ensure there is space on the other side of the crossing for your vehicle.

When approaching a level crossing where lights and bells are operating, or barrier arms are lowered or have started to come down, you must:

  • stop your car
  • wait for the train to pass
  • wait for the lights to stop flashing and the barrier arms to lift before entering the crossing

At level crossings controlled by either ‘give way’ or stop signs alone, you must:

  • slow down, and be prepared to stop
  • if there is a ‘Stop’ sign, you must stop your vehicle completely look both ways up and down the tracks to check the railway lines are clear
  • wait for any approaching train to pass before crossing and where there is more than one track, look again for trains coming in the opposite direction.  Cross only when the railway lines are clear of trains

Never overtake a vehicle that has stopped for a train or try to race a train over the crossing - trains are usually travelling faster than you think. 

Some vehicles (such as those carrying dangerous goods) are legally required to stop at a level crossing, unless automatic alarms are installed. 

Always take care when traveling behind these vehicles. For further information on safe driving behaviour at level crossings, see the New Zealand Road Code.

* This video produced by the NZ Transport Agency looks at when you need to stop at a level crossing as it can be very hard to judge the speed and distance of a train. is aimed at helping drivers become more competent and pass their restricted test the first time. 

This video shows the importance of leaving space on the other side of the crossing before crossing the tracks,

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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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