The  NHVR is  taking the opportunity to remind  truck drivers  of the dangers of driving around level crossings  as part of promoting the upcoming  Rail Safety Week  from 7 – 13 August.

The bid to remind truck drivers to be safe around Australia’s rail lines is a part of Rail Safety Week, which is an annual community awareness week designed to engage the community in safe rail practices.

The NHVR says that the  theme for this year is ‘Expect the Unexpected – Watch Out for Trains’.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the annual awareness week was an important reminder for truck drivers across the country to be extra cautious around rail lines.

“There are some really simple tips drivers can remember to make smarter decisions around the tracks,” Petroccitto said.

“This includes being aware of your surroundings, looking and observing all safety signs, boom gates and lights, and only entering a crossing when the gate has opened, and the lights, if installed, have stopped flashing.”

Petroccitto said accidents involving trucks around rail lines were unfortunately not uncommon.

“Sadly, we’ve seen 12 collisions between trains and heavy vehicles at level crossings in the past year,” he said.

“We know these incidents are avoidable and we want all drivers to know the role that they can play to ensure they stay safe when out on the roads.

“Between 2001 to 2022, there were 2,250 fatalities related to Australia’s rail network, including 20 fatalities and 118 injuries as a result of collisions with a road vehicle at a level crossing.

“Every life lost is a tragedy and has a profound impact on families, communities, first responders and witnesses.

“It may seem like simple advice, but being extra cautious around railways could save your life and reduce trauma for others.”