The Australian Government has today released the National Level Crossing Safety Strategy 2023–2032.
The Strategy is more important than ever. Level crossings remain the highest public safety risk on the rail network. Sadly, two rail workers lost their lives in December, 2023 following a fatal level crossing accident.
The strategy has been developed by the National Level Crossing Safety Committee, comprising representatives from federal, state and local governments, rail industry associations and regulators.
It represents an ongoing commitment to reducing fatalities and injuries at the more than 20,000 level crossings intersecting with roads and pathways across the nation.
The strategy sets out a clear vision for working towards zero harm on the level crossing network, including:
- Improving public education and enforcement
- Leveraging emerging technology and innovation
- Identifying early, low-cost and effective safety improvements
- Developing improved data and knowledge
- Increasing coordination and knowledge sharing by those responsible for safety.
To identify any further action that could be taken by governments, regulators, and industry, a rail level crossing safety roundtable, will be held in Brisbane on 6 March.
Rail workers including train drivers will be represented through their unions.
The Australian Government is already providing $180 million for the Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program, including $160 million over 4 years from 2023-24 to 2026-27 to support lower-cost, high-priority railway crossing upgrades.
These upgrades include installing flashing lights, audible warning devices, boom barriers, enhanced signage, and pedestrian mazes upgrade to increase the visibility of crossings on both sides of the roadway in response to approaching trains.