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NRSC9_Railway_level_crossing_safety

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									                                                                        Road Safety Fact Sheet NRSC 9

Railway Level Crossing Safety
Issue

    The National Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy 2010-2020.

Key points

    The main avenue for the development and implementation of specific national initiatives to address safety
     at railway level crossings is through the Rail Level Crossing Group (RLCG), a working group under the
     Australian Transport Council (ATC).
    The RLCG has developed an updated National Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy (2010-2020), which
     will guide policy and investment into the future to enhance safety outcomes at rail level crossings.
    The Strategy provides practical approaches to reduce crashes and near misses at level crossings, including
     consideration of potential warning devices and best practice in camera-based enforcement.
    This Strategy will complement the new National Road Safety Strategy and better align road and rail safety.
    The Safety Standing Sub-Committee of SCOT (SSSC) has suggested that the NRSC consider appointing
     one of its members as an ambassador for railway level crossing safety.

Background

The Government is investing $7.9 billion between 2008-09 and 2013-14 in rail projects across Australia through
the Nation Building Program. This includes an investment of $150 million to install boom gates and other active
controls at over 290 high-risk rail crossings. In addition, the Government investment is improving safety at the
busier road/rail intersections such as the $140 million Springvale Road Rail Crossing separation project in
Melbourne.

In Australia’s federal system, individual state and territory governments have primary responsibility for road rules
and enforcement, including setting speed limits, and penalties for traffic offences. The Government is working
closely with the states and territories through the ATC to improve rail transport safety.

The RLCG has developed a Railway Level Crossing Safety Strategy 2010-2020 and Action Plan that was
endorsed by the ATC in November 2009. The Rail Level Crossing Strategy focuses on practical approaches to
reduce crashes and near misses at level crossings, including: consideration of potential warning devices; best
practice in camera-based enforcement; and implementing nationally consistent speed reductions on approaches.

Research into level crossing treatments is being undertaken by the Cooperative Research Centre for Rail
Innovation (RailCRC), a collaborative venture between leading organisations in the Australian rail industry and
Australian Universities and is supported by the Commonwealth Government. In particular, the RailCRC is
looking into affordable level crossing protection systems for crossings in regional areas and non-public crossings
in areas with high speed passenger trains. This work is being monitored by the RLCG as part of its action plan.

The Government is also working with the states and territories to fully implement a national rail safety regulatory
and investigator framework by 2013 to reduce the regulatory burdens for industry, particularly those operators
currently holding more than one accreditation (i.e. those operating in more than one jurisdiction). In the
meantime, the ATC has agreed to strengthen the Rail Safety Regulators Panel with a view to progressing
national harmonisation of rail safety regulation during the period in which the national regulator is being
established.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and
Local Government has agreed to Minister Albanese’s request to inquire into smart infrastructure and to make
recommendations on ways to maximise its potential benefits to Australian communities including the transport
sector. It is expected that the inquiry into intelligent transport systems would consider the case for in-vehicle
warning systems that warn motorists of an approaching train as motorists approach the crossings.
                                                                       Road Safety Fact Sheet NRSC 9

The Government, in conjunction with the states and the Northern Territory, is working with the Rail Industry
Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) to improve operational efficiency, safety and engineering standards, codes
of practice, guidelines and rules for the rail industry for the purposes of managing safety issues and meeting
operational requirements. RISSB’s standards, codes of practice, rules, and guidelines provide an accepted
means of risk control for the rail industry. These address, among other things, maintenance of rolling stock; rail
joints and surfaces; train control systems; and safety.

								
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