New rail safety guidelines for children launched
Rail safety charitable trust TrackSAFE NZ has launched new safety guidelines for primary school children as schools reopen around the country.
Foundation Manager Megan Drayton says the “Let’s Keep TrackSAFE” materials are aimed at reminding students that following the simple safety drill of “Stop, Look, Wait and Walk,” will help keep them safe around railway tracks.
The publications were developed after consultation with school principals, teachers, local government road safety coordinators and students themselves. They are available to download from the TrackSAFE NZ website or schools can contact TrackSAFE directly for printed copies.
Ms Drayton says last year there were several incidents involving school students crossing railway tracks while lights and bells were operating.
“We want to reduce these incidents, so we’re encouraging young people to stay focused and alert at level crossings and to put their devices in their pockets at any time they are around the rail or road network,” Ms Drayton says.
“Mobile technology is distracting, and if they are wearing headphones they will also be unlikely to hear the bells operating at a crossing.”
Young people in busy urban areas should also be aware that there will often be more than one train passing in succession. “If a train has passed and alarms are still operating, there is a high chance another train will be coming. It is only safe to cross once the alarms have stopped.”
TrackSAFE NZ recommends schools who are close to the rail corridor consider including rail safety in their yearly planning. Comprehensive curriculum-based rail safety resources are available to download from:
Safety guidelines for students:
• Stop behind the line and take one step back
• Look and listen for trains from both directions
• Wait and listen for the alarms to stop
• Walk if there are no trains coming
• Always remove headphones