Take Care around Level Crossings this Christmas

Press Release – KiwiRail

Collisions between vehicles and trains at public road level crossings are at their lowest number since 1997, according to figures released today by KiwiRail. KiwiRail Infrastructure & Engineering General Manager Rick van Barneveld says there have been …20 December 2011

Take Care around Level Crossings this Christmas

Collisions between vehicles and trains at public road level crossings are at their lowest number since 1997, according to figures released today by KiwiRail.

KiwiRail Infrastructure & Engineering General Manager Rick van Barneveld says there have been 14 collisions between vehicles and trains at public level crossings to date in 2011.

“This is 8 lower than the total for last year and 22 lower than 2005 when there were 36 collisions.”

However he says he joins the Chris Cairns Foundation in encouraging motorists to drive safely and not to be complacent around level crossings this Christmas.

“We’re pleased that most people seem to be taking more care and driving safely around railway level crossings, but we also appreciate it’s a busy time of year and people can be easily distracted or in a hurry to get somewhere.

“We would urge motorists and pedestrians to take their time around level crossings and to stay focused and obey the warning signs that are there to protect them.”

Chris Cairns Foundation Chairman Chris Cairns says he too is hoping for a collision-free Christmas.

“I take it to heart when anyone is involved in a collision with a train, because I know first-hand the enormous personal impact these collisions have on the victims and their families.

“But I also feel empathy for the locomotive engineers and other train staff who are so often the forgotten victims of these collisions.”

Two motorists have died this year in level crossing collisions, and ten people have died from trespassing on railway tracks.

KiwiRail also announced today it has completed upgrades of a further three level crossings around the country.

New half-arm barriers have been installed at the Amyes Road level crossing in Hornby (Canterbury) and at the Totara Street crossing in Mt Maunganui.

New flashing lights and bells alarms have also been commissioned at Stony Creek on the West Coast of the South Island.

ENDS

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