Police target level crossings in the Hunter region

TRAFFIC and Highway Patrol officers are targeting risky driver behaviour at level crossings in an operation that started yesterday in the Hunter Valley.

Until May 15, 2014, police will increase patrols of level crossings in the Hunter including the following locations:
• Segenhoe Rd, Aberdeen
• Rouchel Rd (McAdams Street), Aberdeen

This is part of an ongoing series of safety campaigns relating to level crossings, and is a joint initiative by the NSW Police Force, Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services.

The aim of these campaigns is to reduce the number of collisions on New South Wales's 1400 public-level crossings.

From 2001/02 to 2012/13, there were 117 collisions involving trains and vehicles at level crossings across NSW.

Further, research by the Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) indicates there can be up to 10 "near hit" incidents involving trains and a motor vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle riders every month.

During the police operation, officers will be on the look-out for dangerous motorist behaviour, such as queuing across railway tracks, ignoring warning lights and signs, and using a mobile phone rather than concentrating on the crossing.

In 2012-13, NSW Police issued 306 penalty notices for level-crossing offences, an increase of 9% on 2011/12 and 40% over the previous year.

"Even with the inherent dangers involved, we still see a disappointing number of people ignoring safety warnings and advice at level railway crossings," Hunter Valley Highway Patrol Cluster Senior Supervisor, Senior Sergeant Tony Grace, said.

"That's why a campaign of this kind is so important; it reminds people, motorists, bike riders and pedestrians to take extreme care at level crossings - because a single moment of distraction or recklessness could cost them their life," S/Sgt Grace said.