Technology targeted in international safety campaign
TrackSAFE Foundation New Zealand is again pleased to join the many countries around the world supporting International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) on 2 June 2017. This year we are focussing on the distraction dangers posed by modern technology, including mobile phones and headphones.
In New Zealand we have around 3,000 level crossings on 4,000kms of track, so many New Zealanders interact with the rail network every day – whether it’s to get to work, their homes or their schools.
Sadly, since 2012 more than 80 people have died on our railway tracks, tunnels and bridges, and hundreds more have suffered serious injuries resulting from collisions with trains.
We are also seeing an increase in the number of collisions and near-misses with pedestrians and a disturbing correlation between deaths and the use of headphones around railway tracks.
As owner of the national rail network, KiwiRail is conducting several engineering trials of low-cost LED lighting systems to address this growing risk. The new technologies are designed to provide an extra safety alert to pedestrians who may be distracted by headphones or other mobile technology.
Our education and awareness efforts are also focused on communicating safety messages about how modern technologies can distract us.
We are proud to be part of the global community of organisations working to raise awareness about rail safety at level crossings.
On 2 June 2017, we will join the world in sharing the message to act safely around level crossings – and to be mindful of the risks of distraction when crossing railway tracks.
Mr Peter Reidy
Chairman, TrackSAFE NZ
Chief Executive, KiwiRail